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JANUARY 2020

Sarah Stitt Oklahoma’s First Lady on prioritizing mental health

Familyfriendly

healthy meals and fitness inspiration

Nature Schools 5 things to know

Annual Education Guide 49 local schools and resources


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Features 6 Top Trends in Nature Schools 5 things to know about metro programs 8 Taking on 2020 Family-friendly healthy meals & fitness inspiration 10 First Lady Sarah Stitt Prioritizing mental health in Oklahoma 16 Education Guide Dozens of schools and resources to benefit students 42 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year How public school saved Jena Nelson’s life

In Every Issue

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26 Calendar Kick off the new year with 104 family fun events 40 Local Family Fun Conquer cold-weather blues with indoor entertainment 44 Exploring Oklahoma with Children Plan close-to-home vacations for every season in 2020 48 Super Kids of the Metro Fashion-forward teen knows no boundaries 54 #okcfamilyfun Readers out and about in OKC

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informative event on Saturday, Feb. 22 at Cole’s Community Center. Enjoy workshops by local experts, shop and compare baby products, enter for prizes and giveaways and, NEW this year, take part in a “cutest baby contest!” Register and find more information at bumpbabyandmore.com.

groove to stage entertainment, engage in workshops and enter for door prizes. Find out more at metrofamilymagazine.com/kids-fest.

Only Online

Bump, Baby & More is Feb. 22 If you are expecting or have young kids, mark your calendar for this

4 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

Save the date for Kids Fest! We’re gearing up for our annual celebration of all things family at Kids Fest on Saturday, March 28 at the Cox Convention Center. Families can check out dozens of booths with hands-on fun and local resources,

LAST CALL for Children’s Business Fair entrants In conjunction with Kids Fest on March 28, MetroFamily will host the Acton Children’s Business Fair. Young entrepreneurs will gain business training and then get to sell their goods or services at the fair. Kids ages 6 to 14 with clever business ideas should apply before Jan. 15 at metrofamilymagazine.com/cbf.


D

o you write resolutions or choose a word to live by in the new year? It’s not a practice I’ve often subscribed to myself, but as we celebrate our arrival into a a new decade, one word keeps ringing true to me for what is to come for our city, and me personally, in this new year: Hope. I was honored to talk with First Lady Sarah Stitt about her vision for the future of Oklahoma’s children, hers, mine and yours included. Championing improved traumainformed care and mental health resources is personal for her, and I believe her strength and determination will help Oklahomans band together to ignite positive change. Learn more about how the First Lady’s difficult childhood inspired her to make a difference on page 10.

Publisher

Sarah Taylor

Managing Editor Erin Page

Assistant Editor Lindsay Cuomo

Contributing Writer Madi Pontikes

Contributing Photographers Bridget Pipkin, Lauren Smith

Art Director Stacy Noakes

Project Manager Kirsten Holder

Sales

Athena Delce Dana Price

Office/Distribution Kathy Alberty

Marketing Assistant Lauren Smith

A similar message of hope resonated from Oklahoma’s 2020 Teacher of the Year Jena Nelson, whose platform also includes improved trauma-informed care for students as well as a boost of morale for our teachers. I was impassioned by her appeal for parents of school kids to call, email or message our legislators to tell them what’s going RIGHT with our schools and teachers, rather than focusing on challenges in our education system. Read more about how we can each encourage our kids’ teachers and support our schools on page 42. Perhaps most heartening for me was meeting Courtney Gaines, our Super Kid of the Metro, whose refusal to acknowledge barriers others might name for her means she’s living a beautiful life of no boundaries. This teen’s tenacity in advocating for others with special needs is causing me to reevaluate how I can more aptly live to serve. Find Courtney’s story on page 48.

READ ABOUT COURTNEY GAINES ON PAGE 48.

How will you inspire hope in your corner of our city this year? I’d love to hear your vision for Oklahoma City’s future — and how you’re working to bring about that change. Email me at editor@metrofamilymagazine.com. With great hope for our future,

Erin Page Editor

Contact us

318 NW 13th St, Ste 101 OKC OK 73103 Phone: 405-601-2081 Fax: 405-445-7509 sarah@metrofamilymagazine.com www.metrofamilymagazine.com

MetroFamily Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2019 by Inprint Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc. We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. Circulation audited by

This Month’s Cover As Oklahoma’s First Lady, Sarah Stitt’s platform includes improving access to mental health care resources and traumainformed care, particularly for the youth in our state. Wife of Gov. Kevin Stitt and mom of six, Stitt’s own tumultuous childhood serves as the inspiration for shaping a brighter future for Oklahoma’s children. Story on page 10.

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

METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

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5 things to know about

Nature • • School Schools

AT NATURE FIELD CREATIVE ACADEMY (ABOVE) AND LITTLE LEAF PLAYGARDEN (BELOW) THE OUTDOORS IS AN EXTENSION OF THE CLASSROOM.

BY ERIN PAGE. PHOTOS PROVIDED.

The popularity and presence of nature schools is growing exponentially across the nation, and the trend is catching on in the OKC metro as well. But is a nature school right for your child? We asked the directors of three local nature schools how their programs differ from traditional schools. Marked by small classroom sizes, longer lunch times, plenty of time spent outdoors and individualized curriculum, teachers in these schools seek to provide developmentally-appropriate education. Editor’s note: Our panel included Abigail Ramirez, founder of Nature Field Creative Academy (NFCA) in Moore, Emma Yeung, founder of Little Leaf Playgarden in Oklahoma City, and Jenny Dunning, owner/ founder and director of development at Keystone Adventure School in Edmond.

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Curriculum is child-led.

At Nature Field Creative Academy, teachers first observe students in order to understand their interests and how they learn, then develop curriculum. For example, student discussions about blood and snot turned into curriculum incorporating dramatic play, math and reading related to the human body. At Keystone Adventure School, students care for barnyard animals, build structures with power tools and have a voice in everything from what they’re learning to the names of newborn animals. “Once they understand they are are in charge, they are lifelong learners,” said Dunning. “Children are much more likely to stay with something when they are invested and feel they have a voice.” These schools ensure students aren’t being introduced to academic concepts before they are developmentally ready. “Parents think ‘my child should be prepared to read by kindergarten,’ but as educators we know the window for being ready to read is all the way to third grade,” said Ramirez. The same philosophy applies to behavior.

2•

Unstructured play time, especially outdoors, is key to foundational learning.

Little Leaf Playgarden students spend hours playing outdoors every morning, which Yeung says allows kids to independently and confidently expand creativity through play. She sees the benefits to her students especially in their risk assessment capabilities. “If we trust in the children, they know their own capabilities and strengths and weaknesses,” said Yeung, relating specifically to kids climbing trees. “We [should] inspire kids to trust their own instincts.” Yeung says play is especially critical in kids’ first six to seven years, building a foundation for later academic success. “Studies show exposure [to nature] consistently for an extended amount of time helps memory and social skills,” said Ramirez. Dunning says the sensations kids experience through their bare feet inspires neurological organization, helping kids retain and apply what they are learning. “It gives them an anchor and more clarity as to where they fit into world,” said Dunning. “Unstructured time and space allow for the biggest epiphanies in learning.”

“Kids developmentally shouldn’t be sitting for long periods of time,” said Ramirez. “Those are expectations kids aren’t able to meet; their bodies can’t do what you are asking of them.”

Find out which metro public schools are incorporating nature into curriculum and learn more about metro nature schools, including programming open to the community at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/nature-schools. 6 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020


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Social and emotional development are as important as academics.

Ramirez wants her students to gain a love of learning, stellar social skills and the ability to self advocate. Empathy, kindness and inclusion are woven in to the curriculum. “Since the start of the school year we have noticed a shift in [Violet’s] ability to express her feelings and her anxiety drop,” said Brooke Ellison, whose daughter Violet is in kindergarten at NFCA. “She now views things that were once scary to her as something she can accomplish if she tries.”

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All three schools strive to develop students who aren’t afraid to fail or give wrong answers. Aubry Gragg, Keystone parent, says she’s learned her kids should “fail” as often as possible because it teaches them important lessons. “They know it’s a process, not an outcome,” said Dunning. “They take risks, and that’s where the biggest learning happens.”

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Traditional assessments don’t exist.

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“We feel like there is too much focus on testing in public schools,” said Ellison. “We want Violet to develop a love for learning and not just memorize test answers and sight words.”

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At Keystone standardized tests are administered differently than in public school. “It’s untimed, we have snacks for the students and we have conversations about the questions,” said Dunning. “This is a safe environment where we can really get an authentic read on the knowledge base of the child and move forward to help that child be the best version of themselves.”

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LITTLE LEAF PLAYGARDEN STUDENTS PLAY OUTSIDE FOR HOURS EACH MORNING.

Students are supported in transitioning to their next schools.

Keystone, which goes through fifth grade, provides middle school prep classes in fourth and fifth grades to get students ready for their next school setting. “By the second semester of fifth grade, we are packing their tool belt, preparing them academically but also socially and emotionally, and helping manage their expectations,” said Dunning.

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Gragg, whose oldest son Owen now attends Edmond Public Schools, has found the transition easier than anticipated. “His confidence is mind blowing,” said Gragg. “He participates in his education, he’s not intimidated and doesn’t need me to be his voice. He asks questions and has been taught to do that in a way that’s respectful.”

METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

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What’s for dinner? Happy healthy new year

BY MADI PONTIKES. PHOTOS PROVIDED.

It’s a new year, making it a perfect time to start fresh with your family’s nutrition. While eating “in” is typically the healthier option, cooking nutritious options for the entire family can feel overwhelming with the endless other to-dos life hands us. I hope these tips will help you feel empowered to feed your family well. Find a food style. I love to cook dinner for my family but rarely use a recipe. My rule of thumb is that our plates must have vegetables, a protein and a whole grain. I add fruit for my two girls, too. If you love to make crock pot meals, do them often. If rice and veggie bowls are you jam, go for it. Repeat your favorites.

Stick to the basics. Oftentimes when we think of healthy eating, elaborate recipes with foreign ingredients come to mind. Every meal doesn’t have to rival a 5-star dining experience! Keeping meals simple can be key to long-term success.

Make more (and use eco friendly storage!) I always double up on what I make so my husband and I can have leftovers for lunch. Leftovers can sometimes be bland, so adding hot sauce or flavorful cheese (goat or feta, yum!) can help change up the flavor. While you’re changing up habits this new year, invest in metal or silicone food storage bins for a healthier, greener and more economical option.

Don’t shy away from frozen fruits and veggies. Most people don’t realize frozen fruits and vegetables are often more nutrient-dense than fresh because they are flash-frozen at peak ripeness. It’s also more cost-friendly to buy your berries, fruits and veggies in

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bulk from the freezer section. I prepare the veggies by either baking or sauteing. We use frozen fruits and berries for smoothies, also a fantastic way to sneak more veggies into your diet.

Create a routine. This is most important when it comes to creating a healthy household. If you try to wing it every day, you’ll inevitably take the path of least resistance, a drive-thru or delivery. If my husband is home before dinner, he takes on the kids while I tackle the kitchen. After dinner, one parent bathes the kids while the other does dishes. If my husband isn’t home before dinner, I do a crock pot meal that day or I set out an activity for the girls in the kitchen so they’re entertained while I’m cooking. Remember all changes have a learning curve but after the initial work, it becomes your new normal. However, a huge part of your health is the mental aspect. If you need to schedule one night a week for take-out, do it and don’t lose sleep over it! Then ensure the rest of the week packs in some veggies. Need a few ideas for simple meals to cook? Visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ family-cooking for my favorites and my top tips for enticing picky eaters! Editor’s note: This is the first article in a three-part series exploring ideas for cooking as a family from local moms.

Madi s’ Go-to Smoothie:

Ingredients: ½ cup frozen strawberries ¼ cup frozen blueberries Handful of ice 2 cups spinach 1 tbsp chia seeds ½ cup almond milk 1 tbsp peanut butter 1 scoop vanilla organic vegan protein powder

Instructions: Place ingredients in a blender and add water until it sits just above the ingredients. Blend and enjoy!


Taking on

2020

Madi’s top 5 for staying active and inspired

Sound snoozing

Parks without play equipment Kids need to move and they’ll do it anywhere! I have always been a fan of visiting nature parks with my kids, perhaps because the combination of toddlers and play structures puts me on edge. I love that my kids can run free in nature, use their imaginations and I can sit on a blanket and relax, or even get in my own quick workout while they play. Our favorites are Will Rogers Gardens, the Myriad Gardens great lawn and Martin Park Nature Center.

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One thing that should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list in this new year: get enough sleep. I’m a stickler for the early to bed, early to rise mantra for our entire family. We’ve had a Dohm Sound Machine in each room since our kids were babies to inspire sound sleep.

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’s e r e th ways al ing th e m so to R E V O C S I D

Podcast power My personal go-tos are the Goop and Ted Talk podcasts. I started listening to these on stroller walks and encourage everyone to get in to the podcast craze. It is quite transformative to simply listen and learn about anything from home décor and the way your body works to politics and events across the world.

Exercise essentials Prioritizing fitness doesn’t have to mean hours in the gym. There are a plethora of inexpensive, online workout programs that can be done in your own home for 30 minutes or less a day, which can feel much more doable for busy moms to fit into their lifestyles. I like options that combine dumbbells with interval exercises for fast-paced workouts to build and maintain strength, health and physique.

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W E N

4

Fanny pack fanatic Parents of the world, get this: A fanny pack is the perfect size to hold my keys, phone, lipstick and a snack without being bulky. Being able to use both my hands is so freeing. My favorite is the Lululemon fanny pack, which is high quality with an affordable price tag.

Editor’s note: Madi Pontikes is an early childhood educator, personal trainer and the creator and owner of Move by Madi. She creates workouts that fit into the modern mom’s daily routine, sheds light on the real aspects of healthy living and parenting and is passionate about promoting a mindset of loving your body for what it CAN do. Connect with Madi on Instagram @movebymadi or movebymadi.com, where you can find her favorite workout guide for the new year, the 12 Week Power Program. METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

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Sarah Stitt Oklahoma’s First Lady champions improved mental health awareness for state youth

First Lady Sarah Stitt’s warm nature cuts through a cold, dreary Oklahoma morning as she walks the grounds of the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion. Adept at multitasking, she carries conversation while also pausing to turn off the heater in the Oklahoma-shaped pool, likely left on by her oldest son, she quips, who gets a pass because true to his care-taking disposition, he had taken two of his younger siblings swimming. BY ERIN PAGE. PHOTOS BY BRIDGET PIPKIN AND PROVIDED.


GETTING IS GOOD. GIVING IS BETTER.

GOV. KEVIN AND SARAH STITT WITH THEIR CHILDREN, NATALIE, 19, DREW, 17, KATE, 13, PIPER, 11, REMINGTON, 9, AND HOUSTON, 5.

As the discussion often does among moms, the universal topic of trying to take family photos with a gaggle of kids surfaces. “I always say, just try to look normal, and my kids are like, ‘What’s normal?!’” laughs Stitt, who adds that husband Gov. Kevin Stitt has concocted just the right recipe of bribery and fun. “He’ll say, ‘If we can get this done in under 35 minutes, I’ll get you ice cream. If we can get it done in under 45, you can watch extra TV.’” (We’re all adding Gov. Stitt’s method to our mental checklist for future family photos.)

Considering politics It’s the Stitts’ six kids, ranging in age from 5 to 19, who are their pride and passion, as well as what drove the family to seek office. Neither career politicians, the Stitts believe looking through their kids’ eyes gives them fresh perspective. “We started to realize they probably won’t all stay here,” said Stitt. “We need to make Oklahoma a place where our kids can be healthy and have a bright future.” When Gov. Stitt first told Sarah he wanted to run for governor, she asked him not to tell anyone else, perhaps hoping she could talk him out of it. “He’d bring me statistics, saying, ‘Did you know Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate?’” recalls Stitt. “And I’d say, ‘Then why do you want to be governor?!’”

Gov. Stitt’s logic, and the vision Sarah Stitt began to believe in wholeheartedly too: they could make a difference. As Stitt warmed to the idea, she considered what it would mean for their family. “When Kevin talked about running for governor, I thought, ‘My life is about to jump tracks,’” said Stitt. “I had developed this great world where I felt pretty in control.” That world included her own professional accomplishments, founding Gateway Mortgage Group in 2000 with her husband only two years after the couple was married in 1998. Stitt also held a career in residential home building. All of Stitt’s professional and personal experiences prepared her in various ways for her role as First Lady, her strong work ethic, love of learning, grace under pressure and gift for public speaking all coming into play, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still surreal, even a year later. “Sometimes I think, ‘What am I doing here?’” Stitt laughs. “I’m such an informal person and [sometimes] feel overwhelmed or like the least qualified person for this.” Just as she was concerned about her young kids racing through the halls of the historic governor’s mansion, heirlooms and breakables at their fingertips, she also jokes that she’ll probably make the news during her reign for one of her kids throwing a fit in Walmart. In truth, she is learning to navigate a world she was completely unfamiliar with. METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

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“But long ago I stopped worrying about what other people might think,” said Stitt. “I am embracing this opportunity and know everything I’ve been through in my life I can use for a purpose.”

Leading with purpose As the family began to campaign in earnest, Stitt considered her potential platform as First Lady. Her tumultuous childhood was riddled with the instability of parents dealing with mental health challenges. The effects linger still, but she believes she is stronger and more empathetic for it. “I knew early on I wanted to focus on mental health, so I started slowly bringing it forward and talking to people about it,” said Stitt. Every time Stitt mentioned the topic on the campaign trail, Oklahomans thanked her and shared mental health struggles. Since she became First Lady, Stitt has championed improved mental health and trauma-informed care and the organizations heeding that call. After extensive research on Adverse Childhood Experiences, traumatic events experienced before age 18, Stitt knew to

make the greatest impact she should focus her sights on improving mental health awareness among Oklahoma children and youth. “I’m feeling the momentum, more than I did two years ago, even six or eight months ago,” said Stitt. “From the government to the schools and medical professionals, everyone is open to the conversation about how to give our kids a better future, a healthier future, so they can stay here and be successful.” According to America’s Health Rankings, Oklahoma is the least healthy state in the country when it comes to the percentage of children with Adverse Childhood Experiences, which include things like child abuse or neglect, poverty, discrimination and a parent with untreated mental illness or substance abuse disorder. Kids with ACEs are more likely to experience poor mental and physical health, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide attempts, all placing added economic burdens not just on the family but the community as a whole. Improved ACE prevention strategies, treatment access and community education can move the needle toward long-term

improved individual and community health. Oklahoma schools were a natural place to affect change, as that’s where kids spend much of their days. “[Oklahoma State] Superintendent [of Public Instruction] Joy Hofmeister has done a great job implementing resources and practices with kids, getting outside resources involved and helping support teachers to give kids the tools they need to navigate life,” said Stitt.

Challenging beginnings Stitt grew up in Tulsa, her move to Oklahoma City last year the first time she’s lived elsewhere. Her mom’s own traumatic childhood led to mental health issues not properly treated or diagnosed, which greatly affected Stitt’s household growing up. Being homeschooled and living in a poor district meant not much time was spent outside her tumultuous living conditions. When Stitt became a teenager, she began to attend public school and realized her family’s normal was not what other kids her age were experiencing. Her faith, then and now, helped her navigate dark times.

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“I remember specific times as a young girl and teen feeling very alone or feeling suffocated,” said Stitt. “But at around 14 or 15 I decided everything going on in my life could be used to better myself and the lives of others. I had to embrace that way of thinking and keep my head up. There were still hard times, times I felt isolated and helpless, but I just tried to make the right decisions.” The stigma of mental illness was very strong, a reality Stitt hopes to continue to change. “As a child I was not allowed to talk about the issues in my family because my mom was afraid we’d be judged or what people would think,” said Stitt. “That keeps families isolated and keeps them from getting the resources to help them walk through their lives.” As First Lady, she’s often asked how she overcame and navigated her mom’s suicide attempts and sibling’s drug addiction. “When my siblings and I look back, we could have that initial anger and frustration over what our life was like,” said Stitt. “But I’m thankful our lives weren’t even more traumatic.”

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FACT:

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

Stitt says there weren’t the resources then to help her mom, or her dad cope with caring for her mom. Even as her dad has developed his own mental health struggles, Stitt chooses to focus on the positive. “My siblings have used their experiences to help change the lives of others,” said Stitt, whose mom has been one of her biggest champions for her platform on mental health. “We look at our lives as an opportunity to help others. I’ve been able to offer counsel and resources and friendship to others going through similar things.”

Making mental health a priority As Stitt has advocated for her father to receive proper mental health care, she’s experienced the challenges in that process. “Getting a cohesive path was hard,” said Stitt. “It’s not like going to the doctor and saying you have cancer and here are the three treatment options. Mental health depends so much on the individual’s situation and environment.” Even with the time and resources to make calls and research options, luxuries she knows not everyone has, Stitt floundered. None of the mental health care options recommended by her dad’s primary care physician had appointments sooner than six months out.

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“There’s a need to have more professionals providing therapy and psychiatry,” said Stitt, who praises the caliber of medical schools in our state. “We need to attract and keep those professionals in Oklahoma.” Though she struggled to connect with resources for her dad, she knows Oklahoma has powerful mental health care options available to community members. “We need to start treating mental health like we do physical health, providing more community support to the nonprofits and community resources that can help,” said Stitt.

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Stitt prioritizes mental health in her home by encouraging an ongoing open dialogue. She strives to teach her kids how to walk through tough situations without becoming overwhelmed and focuses on instilling

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empathy and perspective, reminding them when they encounter a difficult person that they don’t know what could be going on in other kids’ lives to cause them to act out. “We use those moments to ask what that other [child] might be walking through,” said Stitt. “[Then] they realize not everyone is out to get them. We’re unable to live healthy and successful lives thinking that way.” Stitt can relate to that knee-jerk reaction, recalling that her own childhood instinct was survival. “That’s really hard for someone who’s lived in trauma and instability because you feel like you have to fight for everything,” said Stitt. “It’s really hard to change that mentality.” Stitt says it’s her husband who helps her gain perspective. “Kevin has to say to me, ‘Look at the bigger picture; take a step back,’” said Stitt. “I get stuck in what’s happening right now in front of me.” Part of Stitt’s own self care has been determining how to prioritize her time so she can give her best to her family and others who depend on her. She clearly defines her priorities and sticks to them, though it’s not always easy, especially when as First Lady she has a deluge of positive opportunities to consider. “All of us are guilty of over-committing ourselves, over-committing our children, over-committing our professional lives,” said Stitt. “In the long run there may be things you say no to or think you might have missed out on, but you will have so much more peace and a lot less stress in your life, which allows you to give your best to your children, family and career.” The Stitts all recharge on Sundays, dedicated to family time. Weekly family meetings are for going over the upcoming week, talking through problems and celebrating successes and blessings. Spending quality time as a family of eight, or one-on-one time with their kids, particularly being active outdoors, keeps the Stitts connected and refreshed. “Kevin does a great job of finding time to connect with each kid individually, finding the things they are passionate about and doing those activities with them,” said Stitt.


Hope for the future As Stitt watches Oklahomans take more personal responsibility for changing the landscape of mental health care in our state, she feels more hopeful than ever about the future. “We think, and we have been guilty of it too, that government will take care of things, but we have to get involved and take responsibility at a very basic community level,” said Stitt. “In every corner of the state I hear people asking how they can help — and they’re not just asking to ask — they say, ‘Show me where I can get involved to make a difference.’” With a unique perspective not of leading the state but rather of linking arms with fellow Oklahomans, Stitt believes the state’s children will indeed have brighter futures. “The most rewarding thing is seeing people come alive with their own passions and desires to make a difference in our state,” said Stitt. “I love seeing pathways opening for people and am really excited about the idea of every Oklahoman having hope for a healthy and successful future.”

FIRST LADY STITT AND DAUGHTER KATE FILM A MADE IN OKLAHOMA COOKING SEGMENT TOGETHER.

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Education Guide Educational opportunities for Oklahoma City-area kids abound. Our annual Education Guide helps parents sort through the endless options by highlighting incredible schools and learning programs throughout the metro. In the following pages, find Catholic and private schools, preschool programs, field trip options and enrichment opportunities offered in and around Oklahoma City.

Private Schools and Preschools Casady School 9500 N. Penn Ave. 405-749-3100, www.casady.org Grades PreK3-12th Open House for grades 2nd-8th on Feb. 10. Call 405-749-3200 or email admission@casady.org to register.

The Goddard School Western 17440 N. Western Ave., Edmond 405-348-4442 www.goddardschool.com Open Houses from Feb. 3-7, 9am-4pm.

A premier PreK3-12 independent school in the heart of Oklahoma City, Casady offers an immersive, college-preparatory curriculum and a focus on the whole child: mind, body and spirit. The school believes in developing excellence, confidence and integrity in students while instilling in them strong spiritual and moral values.

Destiny Christian School 3801 S.E. 29th St. 405-677-6000 CHRISTIAN www.destinywildcats.com Grades PreK3-12th Open House for grades PreK3-6th on Feb. 6.

SCHOOL

This fully accredited (ACTS/OPSAC) private school has been operating since 1981. Professional staff and strong academics promote active learning along with many extracurricular opportunities in athletics and fine arts. The school believes in “learning beyond books, loving beyond words and living beyond tomorrow.” New student enrollment opens March 1 for the 20202021 school year.

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The Goddard School located on Western in Edmond offers a child care program through PreK that nurtures a lifelong love of learning by providing dedicated teachers in a private preschool setting. Offers enrichment programs for students such as Spanish, STEAM, chess, dance, sign language, soccer and more. Full- and part-time enrollment options.

Heritage Hall School 1800 N.W. 122nd St. 405-749-3001, www.heritagehall.com Grades PreK3-12th Established in 1969, Heritage Hall is a private, coeducational, collegeTO LEARN • TO LEAD • TO SERVE preparatory school, serving a student body of approximately 900 students from preschool through grade 12 on a safe and welcoming campus in northwest Oklahoma City. As one of the leading independent schools in the Southwest, Heritage Hall inspires its students to realize their fullest potential—intellectually, socially, creatively and physically—at every stage of a lifelong educational journey.

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Early Childhood Program at Quail Springs United Methodist Church 14617 N. Pennsylvania Ave. 405-755-3258 www.qsumc.org/ecp Infant-5 years

Keystone Adventure School and Farm 19201 N. Western Ave., Edmond 405-216-5400 www.keystoneadventureschoolandfarm.com Grades PreK3-5th Open House on Jan. 26, 2-4pm.

This program offers early childhood education to children 2 months-5 years, providing a fun, safe and loving environment with daily opportunities to develop a love of learning in a Christian atmosphere. Call for a tour.

In this accredited preschool and elementary school, students receive an individualized education with unique learning opportunities in outdoor classrooms, teamwork-based physical education, music, art, Spanish, experiences with animals and more in a loving and respectful environment. They also offer Summer on the Farm camps open to the community. Monthly tours available.

OKC Heartland Montessori School 6120 N. Drexel Blvd. 405-463-5523 www.okcheartlandmontessori.com Open House on Feb. 1, 9-11:30am.

Trinity School at Edgemere 3200 N. Walker 405-525-5600 www.trinityschoolokc.org Grades K-12th Open House on Feb. 6, 6:30-8:30pm.

HMS

The school’s mission is to provide a loving, secure and well-prepared Montessori environment for every child to learn, develop and grow into an independent and confident person who enjoys learning, loves people and appreciates Mother Nature.

Trinity School educates K-12 students with learning differences, each according to their special needs, in a supportive and encouraging environment.

MAKE THE MOST OF PLAYTIME LAUNCH RIGHT IN WITH . . .

a SUPER SPACECRAFT!

GATHER THESE MATERIALS:

Pencil

2 toilet paper tubes

Paper towel tube

2. Draw a rounded 1. Lay a toilet

paper tube on top of a piece of cardboard. Trace it.

nose to the traced shape. Then draw two rounded triangles for wings.

Small piece of cardboard

Markers or paint

3. Cut out the shape.

Scissors

(with an adultˇs help)

Paper

5. Glue your cut tube on top of the cardboard in the shape of a spacecraft, and let it dry.

4. Trace the bottom of

6. Color or paint your spacecraft. You

a toilet paper tube on top of another. Then cut out the round shape.

can also decorate it with stickers. Place a small toy inside and go for a ride. Tell a story about where you’re going!

TinkerActive Workbooks cover essential skills using curriculum-based exercises and interactive tinkering, making, and engineering activities using common household materials!

The Active Way to learn through play SPECIAL ADVERTISER SECTION

Glue

Odd Dot

An imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

AVAILABLE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD

METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

17

Pantone River Blue 15-4720 TPX


Private Schools St. Mary’s Episcopal School 505 E. Covell Rd., Edmond 405-341-9541, www.smesedmond.org 30 months-5th grade Open House on Feb. 11. The school’s purpose is to foster an education that develops each student academically while providing a values-centered, character-building education to prepare each student to live a creative and compassionate life, worthy of a child of God. Westminster School 600 N.W. 44th St. 405-524-0631, www.westminsterschool.org Grades PreK3-8th Founded in 1963, Westminster is an independent, coeducational school for students from PreK3-8th grade. Their mission is to educate children by engaging them actively in experiences that challenge students to solve problems as cooperative, confident and responsible learners. Their goal is for each student to graduate as confident and connected people who think well, work hard and work well with others. Wildflower: An Acton Academy N.W. Oklahoma City 405-451-3450 www.wildfloweracton.com Ages 4-11 The school employs learnerdriven, Socratic methods to teach students how to be independent, lifelong learners. Affiliated with Acton Academy. Opens Fall 2020.

YMCA Child Development Center Edward L. Gaylord Downtown YMCA 1 N.W. 4th St. 405-297-7760 ymcaokc.org/children-youth/child-development-center Grades PreK and kindergarten Gardner Hale (American, 1894–1931). Triumph of Washington (detail), 1931. Oil on canvas. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Gift of D. Wigmore Fine Art, 2017.070

The center specializes in encouraging a child’s natural desire to learn. Developmentally-appropriate activities help grow children emotionally, socially, spiritually and intellectually. A language program and swim lessons are offered. Financial assistance available.

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The Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City All Saints Catholic School 4001 36th Ave. N.W., Norman 405-447-4600 www.allsaintsnorman.org Grades PreK-8th Open House on Jan. 26, 1-3pm. This school’s mission is to teach children to know, love and serve God through academic pursuits and service to others. It received recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education in 2007. Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School 801 N.W. 50th St. 405-842-6638 www.bmchs.org Grades 9th-12th Shadow visits & tours available. Bishop McGuinness High School is a coeducational collegepreparatory institution with a diverse student body, dedicated to the development of the whole person.

Catholic School of St. Eugene 2400 W. Hefner Rd. 405-751-0067 www.steugeneschool.org Grades PreK3-8th Open House on Jan. 26, 2-5pm. Located in the heart of The Village, St. Eugene is a school rich in tradition, achievement and diversity. The school excels in nurturing children and fostering a love of learning, family and Christ. Contact the Eagle Ambassador for a tour at eagleinfo@ steugeneschool.org.

Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School 900 N. Portland Ave. 405-945-9100 www.cristoreyokc.org Grades 9th-11th Shadow day visits and tours available. Designed for young women and men of all faiths and limited financial means, this new school integrates rigorous collegepreparatory academics, professional work experiences through a unique Corporate Work Study Program and spiritual development to empower graduates to succeed in college and life. Holy Trinity Catholic School Missouri & N. 2nd St., Okarche 405-263-4422 www.holytrinityok.org Grades PreK3-8th This school provides small classes, excellent teachers and strong technology at each grade level within a Catholic faithformation environment. Steve Lykes is the principal. Call for tours.

Mount St. Mary Catholic High School 2801 S. Shartel Ave. 405-631-8865 www.mountstmary.org Grades 9th-12th Shadow visits and tours available. This school provides a college-preparatory, coeducational Catholic education with a diverse student body and a variety of clubs, organizations, fine arts and athletics.

Christ the King Catholic School 1905 Elmhurst Ave. 405-843-3909 www.ckschool.com Grades PreK3-8th Open House on Jan. 26, 1:30-3pm.

Rosary Catholic School 1919 N.W. 18th St. 405-525-9272 www.rosaryschool.com Grades PreK3-8th Open House on Jan. 26, 11am-2pm.

Christ the King Catholic School is committed to upholding the Catholic faith and tradition and, in partnership with families, helping students develop academically for a life of faith, integrity and service.

A state accredited school, Rosary promotes a strong foundation based on faith, education and culture. Classes are designed to challenge the students to attain their full potential and develop a true sense of self-esteem.

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Catholic Schools St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School 5000 N. Grove St. 405-789-0224, www.stcharlesokc.org Grades PreK3-8th Open House on Feb. 9, 2-3:30pm. St. Charles Borromeo maintains a high standard of academics both in curricula as well as achievement. Equally important is the Catholic faith, which means the school is Christ-centered and focused on prayer and living in faith to enact the church’s social teachings. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School 925 S. Boulevard, Edmond 405-348-5364, www.stelizabethedmond.org Grades PreK3-8th Open House on Jan. 26, 1-3pm. This school’s education program is rooted in the values of love, respect and justice for every individual and form of life existing in God’s creation.

Horsin’ Around January 4 10:00 a.m. – Noon

Horses have long been an important element of Western lifestyles. Celebrate these majestic animals with horse-related crafts, storytelling and a showing of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

Pinch Pots

February 1 10:00 a.m. – Noon Learn the fun pottery technique “pinching” while creating a pot of your own and listening to Caddo potter Chase Earles.

#MyWest

nationalcowboymuseum.org/kids 1700 Northeast 63rd Street Oklahoma City, OK 73111 Mon – Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sun, Noon – 5:00 p.m. Free with Museum admission. Available while supplies last.

St. James Catholic School 1224 S.W. 41st 405-636-6810, www.stjamesokc.com Grades PreK3-8th Open House on Jan. 26, noon-2pm. This school provides a diverse community that focuses on excellence in faith formation, academics and service to others.

St. John Nepomuk Catholic School 600 Garth Brooks Blvd., Yukon 405-354-2509, www.sjnok.org/school Grades PreK3-8th Call for Open House date. Open to children of all faiths, this school provides a program that grows the whole child. Their mission is to provide each student with tools to become a just, good, respectful, trustworthy and loving person who is at an academic level to compete and achieve in high school and beyond. St. Philip Neri Catholic School 1121 Felix Pl., Midwest City 405-274-9685, www.stphilipnerischool.com Grades PreK3-8th Open House on Jan. 26, 12:15-2pm. Students find success in science and engineering fairs, receiving top honors at both the state and national levels, and the dedicated staff have been recognized by various organizations. A variety of sports, electives and extracurricular activities are offered such as art, music, photography, computer, Spanish and yearbook. The mission of the school is to promote charity, humility and excellence through a Christ-centered education.

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Miscellaneous Artsy Learning Center 1215 36th Ave. N.W., Norman 405-343-4064 www.artsylearningcenter.com Open Houses on Jan. 25, 10am and March 28, 10am.

Goldfish Swim School – Edmond 10 N.W. 146th St., Edmond 405-696-7500, www.goldfishswimschool.com

The center offers homeschool classes for reading and math for kindergarten and first graders and provides art enrichment for grades PreK-6th.

This swim instruction school believes every child should know the basics of water safety, offering a special 20-minute W.A.T.E.R. safety presentation to children ages 3-7 at schools, daycare centers, churches and other facilities for FREE. This come-to-you, entertaining and educational presentation includes a visit from Goldfish’s mascot Bubbles. The program introduces the concept and importance of water safety, ideas to avoid potential dangers in and around the water and more. To schedule a W.A.T.E.R. safety presentation at your organization, email Kristy Blew at edmondmarketing@goldfishss.com.

Artsy Rose Academy 7739 W. Hefner Rd. 405-603-8550 www.artsyrose.com

OKCPHIL 424 Colcord Dr., Ste. B 405-232-7575 www.okcphil.org/education

This art studio offers an assortment of art activities for homeschool students, kids ages 5 and older and adults. On Mondays from 4:15-5:15pm, the Academy offers enrichment for ages 5-15. Students work with all mediums (oil pastels, clay, colored pencils, paints, etc.) and methods (painting, sculpting, drawing, collage, etc.) throughout the semester. Each week is a new adventure. Each lesson is $15.

The OKCPHIL provides inspiration and joy through orchestral music for children in the OKC area. They offer several free school programs with curriculum provided through classroom teachers. Teachers are encouraged to explore these options early as they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Families can also enjoy three affordable Discovery Series concerts, each specifically designed for ages 4-13 and held at the Civic Center Music Hall. A fun hour of hands-on projects in the lobby is held prior to each concert.

EPIC Charter Schools 1900 N.W. Expressway, Floor R3 405-749-4550 www.epiccharterschools.org  Grades PreK-12th

Tutoring by Gail Moss, M.Ed N. OKC, Edmond, Deer Creek areas 405-285-7450 gmoss101@hotmail.com

As the state’s largest public virtual charter school, EPIC offers an individualized oneon-one virtual charter option for students throughout the state and a blended learning option for students in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties. Call to schedule an appointment.

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Experienced teacher Gail Moss offers beginning reading, writing and math tutoring for grades K-6th. She is a learning disabilities specialist with special expertise in dyslexia. References available.

Tutoring Learning Disability Specialist

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Field Trips Canadian County Historical Museum 300 S. Grand Ave., El Reno 405-262-5121 www.canadiancountymuseum.com

Harn Homestead Museum 1721 N. Lincoln Blvd. 405-235-4058 www.harnhomestead.com

Located in the original Rock Island Depot, collections on display include railroad memorabilia, early pioneers and settlers, Fort Reno, Darlington and Native American exhibits. Visitors can also view the Possum Holler School, Mennoville Mennonite Church, Red Cross Canteen, El Reno Hotel, Darlington Jail and General Sheridan’s Headquarters. School tours are $1 per child and include a trolley ride. Book now for their Adventures in History program held in April. The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday.

This museum offers hands-on field trips for elementary and secondary students studying Oklahoma history. Programming takes place in an original 1890s schoolhouse, a 1904 dairy barn and a 1909 farmhouse. Docents in period attire provide students with activities appropriate to the time such as using a slate, scrubbing laundry on a washboard, grinding corn and playing with old-fashioned toys and games. Cost is $10 per student with school staff admitted free of charge. Scholarships are available. Contact Education Director David Sapper at dsapper@harnhomestead.com for more information.

Chickasaw Cultural Center 867 Cooper Memorial Rd., Sulphur 580-622-7130 www.chickasawculturalcenter.com

Historic Ft. Reno and Museum 7107 W. Cheyenne St., El Reno 405-262-3987, www.fortreno.org

Discover a memorable experience at one of Oklahoma’s premier cultural attractions. Explore the state-ofthe-art Chikasha Poya Exhibit Center, rotating exhibits, cultural demonstrations, films and the Chikasha Inchokka’ Traditional Village. Group visits and tours are available year round. Call special events at the number above for more details.

Fort Reno is one of Oklahoma’s most historic landmarks with a very rich and extensive history including local, state, national and even world history, all in one location. You can visit the museum six days a week all year long or book a group tour for a more hands-on and visual experience. The guided group tours offer a timeline of history from the Chisholm Trail Cattle Drive to the decommissioning of the fort. For more information or to book your tour, call the number above. The museum is open MondaySaturday, 10am-4pm.

If your child struggles to read, write, or pay attention, it could be a learning difference. Trinity School educates students with learning differences, each according to their specific needs, in a supportive and encouraging environment.

SEE US AT OUR NEW LOCATION Visit our Open House February 6th from 6:30-8:30pm

Open Enrollment begins Mid-March

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AT EDGEMERE 3200 N. Walker Ave / OKC

Schedule a tour

(formerly the Edgemere Elementary School)

Call about our Free Dyslexia Screenings!

www.trinityschoolokc.org

(405) 525-5600

SPECIAL ADVERTISER SECTION


Field Trips Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum 1714 W. Wrangler Blvd., Seminole 405-382-0950 www.jasminemoran.com

Mabee Gerrer Museum 1900 W. MacArthur, Shawnee 405-878-5300 www.mgmoa.org

The museum features interactive exhibits that complement and expand classroom curriculum. Exhibits depict various careers/ occupations for children to immerse themselves via hands-on play.

This museum’s collections span more than 8,000 years of human history and include Oklahoma’s only mummies. Scholarships are available to schools and homeschool groups for field trips and to schools for bus transportation. All field trips include free art activities. Additionally, art classes are offered for children and adults, and Visual Thinking Strategies training is available free to teachers.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 N.E. 63rd St. 405-478-2250 www.nationalcowboymuseum.org Grades K-12th

Liichokoshkomo’ at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 N.E. 63rd St. 405-478-2250 www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/liichokoshkomo-2 Teacher Open House on April 28

Students can find their place in the West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Docent-facilitated tours are available Monday-Friday while teacher-directed tours are welcome anytime. The museum provides free admission for students and chaperones (one per seven students) and a transportation stipend for school field trips. Minimum participation for homeschool co-op organizations is 10 school-aged children. Drop-in activities available throughout the year. Call ahead for a curriculum consultation or make reservations (at least three weeks in advance), 405-478-2250 ext. 241 or sstrain@ nationalcowboymuseum.org.

Liichokoshkomo’ (pronounced Lee-cho-kosh-ko-MO) is the museum’s brand new backyard playscape, where STEAM activities and kinesthetic play meet cultural diversity. The world-class educational setting opens in spring 2020. A Spring Break sneak peek will be open to the public March 14-20 with a variety of activities including live entertainment, storytelling and food sampling. Field trips can be scheduled anytime.

We Believe School Can Be Different.

It’s more than a motto. It’s a promise. At EPIC Charter Schools, we strive to keep this promise each day, providing more than 28,000 students across the state of Oklahoma a FREE, public education. EPIC provides every child an individualized, high-quality education that offers flexibility to meet the changing needs of its diverse families. Because of this, we can proudly honor our promise that “School Can Be Different.”

2019

SPECIAL ADVERTISER SECTION

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Field Trips Oklahoma Aquarium 300 Aquarium Dr., Jenks 918-296-3474, www.okaquarium.org The aquarium provides daily feed and dive shows, educational programs and interactive exhibits to facilitate experiential learning for students of all ages and abilities. Onsite classes and behindthe-scenes tours offer unique learning experiences to enhance any student’s curiosity and enthusiasm for STEM learning. Field trips available seven days a week; classes and programs available Monday-Friday. Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Dr. 405-236-3100 www.okcmoa.com/tours Tours for all ages are available and are free to students in grades K-12 thanks to the generosity of the Inasmuch Foundation. Oklahoma-based K-12 school groups are also eligible for transportation reimbursement. Groups have the option of taking self-guided tours through the galleries or may book a one-hour docent-guided tour. To schedule, contact Neely Simms, nsimms@okcmoa.com or 405-278-8213. OKC Zoo 2000 Remington Pl. 405-424-3344 www.okczoo.org The zoo offers a wide range of hands-on educational programs designed to enhance students’ field trip experiences. Students of all ages will develop an awareness and appreciation for the natural world while connecting with wildlife and wild places. Programs take place at the education center as well as in the zoo’s exhibit areas.

Oklahoma History Center 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. 405-522-0798 www.okhistory.org/historycenter/fieldtrips Grades PreK-12th Investigate Oklahoma’s past at this dynamic museum. A grant program allows Oklahoma public, private and homeschool groups of 10 or more who schedule their field trips at least two weeks in advance to receive free admission for students, teachers and chaperones. The Traveling Trunk program brings the museum to the classroom for free and the History Alive! Outreach offers living history programs for kids of all ages with a fee of $50-$150. Sam Noble Museum 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman 405-325-1008 www.samnoblemuseum.ou.edu/education-2/field-trips Affectionately called the dinosaur museum, the Sam Noble Museum offers a variety of educational programs, hands-on components, exhibits and experiences that inspire learners of all ages to understand the natural and cultural world. Add on a special Discovery Room, Laboratory or Classroom program for an additional fee.

Science Museum Oklahoma 2020 Remington Pl. 405-602-6664 www.sciencemuseumok.org Grades PreK-12th Science Museum Oklahoma’s field trip rate is $7 per person, which includes all of the museum’s exhibits, art galleries and gardens along with Kirkpatrick Planetarium and Science Live shows. One chaperone is free with every 10 students. Boxed and group lunches are available with an advance reservation; reserved seating available in the lunchroom when you bring lunch.

Oklahoma Hall of Fame 1400 Classen Dr. 405-235-4458 www.oklahomahof.com

SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd. 405-814-0006 www.skeletonmuseum.com 

The Oklahoma Hall of Fame offers FREE field trips to all Oklahoma educators. They provide four tours covering topics such as energy, STEAM and Oklahoma leaders and all of them include pre- or post-arrival lesson plans and activities. All public, private, homeschool or other specialized education organizations are welcome. Field trips are offered Tuesday-Saturday and include a fuel stipend per student or lunch option for students and chaperones. Call or email today for date availability.

Field trips include discounted group rates and free scavenger hunts that engage students with the more than 40 exhibits and 350 REAL skeletons on display. Hands-on programs available for K-12th grades including Jr. Veterinarians and Animal CSI. Contact education@museumofosteology.org or call 405-814-0006, ext. 120 to reserve your field trip.

Find the Education Guide online at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/education-guide

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A learning revolution turning learning upside down. Our promise to your child is that he or she will: • Learn to be a curious, independent, lifelong learner. • Cherish the arts, wonders of the physical world and the mysteries of life on Earth. • Discover his or her most precious gifts and learn to use them to solve difficult problems.

Opening Fall 2020 in NW OKC for ages 4-11. Enroll now! Find out more at 405-451-3450 or www.wildfloweracton.com.

K3 - 12th Grades Leadership Activities Our mission is to inspire each child and parent who enters our doors to find a calling that will change the world.

Keystone Adventure School and Farm

Join us for our

OPEN HOUSE Sunday, January 26 2:00  4:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Rebecca Skarky, Director of Admissions, at 405-524-0631 ext. 123

SIGN UP AT: www.keystoneadventureschoolandfarm.com

Pre-K through eighth grade 600 NW 44 Street, OKC 405-524-0631 westminsterschool.org

Westminster School admits students of any race, color, religion, or national and ethnic origin. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, financial aid program, athletic, and other school-administered activities.

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January

EVENTS CALENDAR

TOP 5 EVENTS Jan. 11

FREE STEAM Saturday at St. Mary’s Episcopal School

Jan. 18

Norman Chocolate Festival at Norman North High School Commons

Jan. 19

PJ Masks Live! at Chesapeake Energy Arena

Jan. 20

FREE Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at Myriad Gardens

Jan. 23-Feb. 9

Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat at Lyric at the Plaza

CALENDAR SPONSORED BY

CRESTONERIDGE.COM


Jan. 2 & 3

Winter Break Drop-in Activities at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features a variety of family-friendly activities including beaded ornaments and fingerprint art. Free with admission while supplies last. 10am-2pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org Winter Break Day Skate at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St). Admission includes skate rental. $6. 1-4pm. 605-2758, www.skategalaxyokc.com

Jan. 3

FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo District (NW 30th & 27th St, Walker & Hudson Ave) features special themed exhibits, refreshments, guest artists and a variety of entertainment. 6-9pm. 525-2688, thepaseo.org

Jan. 3-5

Eagle Watch at Arcadia Lake (9000 E 2nd St, Edmond). See majestic eagles in their natural habitat. Begin at the park office for information about where the eagles can be spotted and check out the raptor wingspan display, videos and more. Dress warmly and bring binoculars. $3 per vehicle. 8am4pm. 219-7471, www.arcadialakeok.com

Jan. 4

FREE Storybook Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd St). Children listen to a story while parents enjoy coffee and conversation. 10-11am. Also held: Jan. 18. 528-2122, www.cuppiesandjoe.com

Kids Take Over the Cowboy at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St). Horses have long been an important element of Western lifestyles. Celebrate these majestic animals with horse-related crafts, storytelling and a showing of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Free with admission while supplies last. 10am-noon. Also held: Feb. 1. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org Guthrie Maker Days in Historic Guthrie (various locations) features make-&-take craft opportunities. Prices and activities vary each month. 11am. www.facebook.com/guthriemakerdays Drop-in Art at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features an art-making project inspired by the museum’s collection, exhibitions and special occasions. All ages welcome, no registration required. Free with admission. 11am-4pm. Also held: Jan. 18 & Feb. 1. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com University of Oklahoma Men’s Basketball vs Kansas State University at Lloyd Noble Center (2900 S Jenkins Ave, Norman). Ticket prices vary. Noon. Also held: 1/14 vs Kansas, 1/18 vs TCU & 2/1 vs OSU. 325-4666, www.soonersports.com Oklahoma State University Women’s Basketball vs University of Kansas at Gallagher-Iba Arena (200 Athletic Center, Stillwater). Ticket prices vary. 2pm. Also held: 1/8 vs Oklahoma, 1/19 vs Iowa State, 1/25 vs Texas & 1/29 vs TCU. 877-227-6773, www.okstate.com

University of Oklahoma Women’s Basketball vs Baylor University at Lloyd Noble Center (2900 S Jenkins Ave, Norman). Ticket prices vary. 4pm. Also held: 1/11 vs Iowa State, 1/19 vs TCU, 1/28 vs Texas & 2/5 vs West Virginia. 325-4666, www.soonersports.com

Jan. 6

First Mondays for Kids at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features complimentary admission for kids 17 years old and under. General admission applies to guests 18 and older. Adults (18-64), $8; seniors (65+), $6; kids (17 & under), free. 10am-5pm. Also held: Feb. 3. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu

Oklahoma State University Men’s Basketball vs University of West Virginia at Gallagher-Iba Arena (200 Athletic Center, Stillwater). Ticket prices vary. 8pm. Also held: 1/15 vs Texas, 1/18 vs Baylor, 1/27 vs Kansas & 2/5 vs TCU. 877-227-6773, www.okstate.com

Jan. 7

Oklahoma City Blue vs Austin Spurs at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens). $10 & up. 7pm. Also held: 1/10 vs Fort Wayne, 1/11 vs Northern Arizona, 1/14 vs South Bay, 1/23 vs Texas & 2/4 vs South Bay. 602-8500, www.coxconventioncenter.com

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CALENDAR #OKCFAMILYFUN

Jan. 9

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena (100 W Reno Ave). Ticket prices vary. 8:30pm. Also held: 1/11 vs Los Angeles, 1/15 vs Toronto, 1/17 vs Miami, 1/18 vs Portland, 1/24 vs Atlanta, 1/27 vs Dallas & 2/5 vs Cleveland. 6028700, www.chesapeakearena.com

Jan. 10

FREE 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk in downtown Norman (Main St, Norman) features a monthly celebration of the arts with an evening of artistic expression as well as food and fun. 6-9pm. www.2ndfridaynorman.com FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (1700 block of NW 16th St) features artists, live music, special events, local shopping and more. 6-10pm. www.plazadistrict.org/live

Jan. 11

FREE STEAM Saturday at St. Mary’s Episcopal School (505 E Covell Rd,

Edmond) features science, technology, engineering, art, music and math activities for all ages. 9:30-11am. 341-9541, www.facebook.com/SMESEdmond FREE See You Saturdays at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame (1400 Classen Dr) features themed experiences and learning opportunities for all ages including story time, crafts and guided tours. 10am-5pm. 235-4485, www.oklahomahof.com FREE Diaper Dash Baby Crawl and Toddler Trot at Jackie Cooper Gym (1024 E Main St, Yukon). Babies 6-14 months compete to see who can crawl a set distance in a timed event. Toddlers up to 18 months can trot to see which baby can walk the fastest. All events are free to enter. Prizes will be awarded. 10:30amnoon. 350-8920, www.cityofyukonok.gov FREE Curious George Storytime at the Warr Acres Library (5901 NW 63rd St, Warr Acres) features stories and fun activities. Best suited for ages 5 & under. 10:30-11:30am. 721-2616, www.metrolibrary.org

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METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

FREE Eagle Watch at Lake Thunderbird State Park (1201 Clear Bay Ave, Norman) features a tour of the park to catch a glimpse of magnificent eagles in their winter home. Preregister, space is limited. 1-4pm. Also held: Jan. 25. 321-4633, www.travelok.com The Drifters, Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and The Platters at the Hudiburg Chevrolet Center (6000 S Prosper Blvd, Midwest City) features favorite hits like Under The Boardwalk, Stand By Me, Save The Last Dance for Me, Yakety Yak and more. $45-$65. 7:30-9:30pm. 594-8300, www.okcciviccenter.com OKC Philharmonic Classics Series: Minimalism in a New World at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a selection of music from Frank Zappa & Antonin Dvorak performed by Jennifer Koh and the OKC Philharmonic. $19 & up. 8pm. 297-2264, www.okcphilharmonic.org


Jan. 14

FREE Glow Up Art Party at the Midwest City Library (8143 E Reno Ave, Midwest City) features glow-in-the-dark activities and UV reactive crafts. Best suited for ages 5 & up. 4:30-5:30pm. 732-4828, www.metrolibrary.org

Jan. 14-19

Miss Saigon at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a new production of the legendary musical from the creators of Les Misérables. Follow a young Vietnamese woman named Kim who is orphaned by war and forced to work in a bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. Recommended for ages 14 & up. $27-$97. 7:30-10pm. 594-8300, www.okcbroadway.com

Jan. 16

FREE Little Hands Art Camp at Belle Isle Library (5501 N Villa Ave) features an arts and crafts program made for ages 5 & under and accompanying adults. Preregister. 10-10:45am. 8439601, www.metrolibrary.org

Third Thursdays at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features hands-on art activities, live music, food and beverages and outdoor activities, including on the Roof Terrace, weather permitting. $12; members, free. 5-9pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com David B. Hooten, The Legend Of Dixieland at Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Byrant Rd, Edmond) features multi-Grammy and Emmy award nominee David B. Hooten as he performs with jazz greats Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, Boots Randolph, Bob Snyder, Wynton Marsalis and more. $23 & up. 7:30pm. 2851010, www.armstrongauditorium.org

Jan. 17

FREE Stargazing in the Park at Scissortail Park’s Love’s Travel Stops Stage & Great Lawn (415 S Robinson Ave) features free public viewings of astronomical objects via club member telescopes as well as brief tutorials on astronomy as a hobby. The program will begin at sundown and continue until 10pm, weather permitting. All ages welcome. 6:30pm. 445-6277, www.scissortailpark.org

Jan. 17-19

International Finals Rodeo at Lazy E Arena (9600 Lazy E Dr, Guthrie) features professional rodeo action as cowboys and cowgirls compete for the title of World Champion in eight events. $20 & up. Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm; Saturday & Sunday, 1:30pm. 282-3004, www.ipra-rodeo.com

Oklahoma Winter Bead & Jewelry Show at State Fair Park Expo Hall (3213 Wichita Walk) features fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, beads, beading supplies, findings, pearls, silver, designer cabochons, minerals and tools. $5. Friday & Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, 10am4pm. 504-265-8830, www.aksshow.com Oklahoma City Home + Garden Show at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features more than 450 exhibitors and experts offering new products, design inspiration and remodeling ideas. $10 in advance; $12 at the door. Friday, noon-9pm; Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm. 877871-7469, oklahomacityhomeshow.com

Jan. 18

FREE Kid’s Meditation Class at the Buddha Mind Monastery (5800 S Anderson Rd) features a free Saturday morning meditation classes for kids ages 6-11. Following the class, attendees are invited to enjoy a free vegetarian lunch provided by the monastery. 10amnoon. Also held: Feb. 1. 869-0501, www. facebook.com/buddhamindmonastery Norman Chocolate Festival at Norman North High School Commons (1809 Stubbeman Ave, Norman) features samples of delectable treats by partnering restaurants and businesses. The festival will also feature free projects, games and entertainment. No tickets necessary to take part. Benefits Norman Public Schools through grants for school PTA projects. $25-$50. Noon4pm. www.normanptacouncil.org Drop-in Art at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features an art-making project inspired by the museum’s collection, exhibitions and special occasions. All ages welcome, no registration required. Free with admission. 11am-4pm. Also held: Feb. 1. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com

METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

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CALENDAR #OKCFAMILYFUN

Jan. 19

PJ Masks Live! Save the Day at Chesapeake Energy Arena (100 W Reno Ave) features a live show with Catboy, Owlette and Gekko as they go into the night to save the day from villains, along with PJ Robot. $29 & up. 2pm. 6028700, www.chesapeakearena.com

Jan. 20

FREE Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration in Oklahoma City (various locations) features a parade, silent march, bell ringing, job fair and more. The celebration’s signature event, the parade, begins at 2pm and proceeds down Walker Ave. Activities begin at 9am. See website for times and locations. www.okcmlk.org Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a morning of performances, crafts, live art demonstrations and more. Free to attend; crafts, $2 suggested donation. 10am-1pm. 4457080, www.myriadgardens.org

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration with Music Of Rosephanye Dunn Powell at Sharp Hall, Catlett Music Center (500 W Boyd St, Norman) features a special performance to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with the Richard Zielinski Singers, OU combined choirs and Norman Philharmonic. $9 in advance, $10 at the door; students, $5. 3pm. www.normanphil.com University of Oklahoma Women’s Gymnastics vs University of Arkansas at Lloyd Noble Center (2900 S. Jenkins Ave, Norman). Adults, $10 & up; kids, $8. 1:30pm. Also held: 1/31 vs Iowa State. 325-2424, www.soonersports.com

Jan. 22

FREE Touch, Learn, Create – Snow at the Southwest Oklahoma City Library (2201 SW 134th St) features sensory-themed activity stations for ages 2-6. 10-11:30am. 979-2200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org

Jan. 23-Feb. 9

Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat at Lyric at the Plaza (1727 NW 16th St) features a family-friendly production of the classic children’s book. Sally and her brother are stuck home in the rain when a cat comes knocking at the windowpane. $20-$25. See website for show times. 524-9312, www.lyrictheatreokc.com

Jan. 24

FREE Itty-Bitty Dance Party at the Midwest City Library (8413 E Reno Ave, Midwest City) features a dance party for ages 1-5. 10-11am. 732-4828, www.metrolibrary.org Broadway Tonight at Mitchell Hall Theater (100 N University Dr, Edmond) features an evening with Tony Award winner Faith Prince. $25-$35. 7:30pm. 974-3375, www.uco.edu/cfad

Jan. 24 & 25

Raiders of the Lost Ark at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave). Relive the magic on the silver screen with an original

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adventure performed live by the OKC Philharmonic symphony orchestra. $19 & up. 8pm. 842-5387, www.okcphil.org

Jan. 24-26

OKC RV & Boat Show at State Fair Park Bennett Event Center (3101 Gordon Cooper Blvd) features the latest makes and models of all kinds of RVs and boats. $10; kids (12 & under), free. Friday, noon-8pm; Saturday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 948-6796, www.okcboatshow.com

Kicker Arenacross at Lazy E Arena (9600 Lazy E Dr, Guthrie) features some of the nation’s top professional and amateur arenacross competitors. $18 & up. 7:30pm. kickerarenacross.com/okc

Jan. 25

Sensory Rainforest Adventure at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Touch, smell and taste your way through the tropics to learn all about wonderful and helpful rainforest plants. Best suited for ages 6-10. Preregister. Members, $8; nonmembers, $10. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org

FREE Piece it Together: A Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament at the Norman Central Library (103 W Acres St, Norman). Teams will attempt to be the first to assemble a 400-piece jigsaw puzzle. Participants can form their own teams of four and smaller groups may be assigned to a team. Registration is not required but attendance is limited. For ages 12 & up. 1-3:30pm. 701-2600, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org Big 12 SEC Challenge at Chesapeake Energy Arena (100 W Reno Ave). The University of Oklahoma men’s basketball team will take on Mississippi State. Ticket prices vary. Game time TBA. 602-8700, www.chesapeakearena.com

Jan. 25 & 26

Dragon Alley at the Payne County Expo Center (4518 Expo Circle East, Stillwater) features a traveling magical festival celebrating the literary and film works of wizards, witches, dragons and familyfriendly pretend worlds. There will be games, prizes, magical pop-up shops, mini crafts, a scavenger hunt, mermaid encounter, wand classes, broom practice,

potions demonstration, magical animal encounters and more. Family-friendly costumes encouraged. $8-$44; kids (3 & under), free. Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 10am-4pm. www.eventbrite.com

Jan. 27

FREE Cookies & Canvas at the Capitol Hill Library (327 SW 27th St) features a paint-by-number activity and cookies. For ages 12-18. Preregister. 5:30-7:30pm. 634-6308, www.metrolibrary.org

Jan. 29

FREE Itty Bitty Dance Party at the Northwest Library (5600 NW 122nd St) features a dance party for toddlers, preschoolers and their caregivers. 1011am. 606-3580, www.metrolibrary.org

Jan. 30

FREE 80s Workout Night at the Southwest Oklahoma City Library (2201 SW 13th St) features a fun themed fitness program. 80s dress encouraged. Preregister. 6:30-7:30pm. 979-2200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org

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CALENDAR #OKCFAMILYFUN

Jan. 31-Feb. 1

Jumpstart Your Marriage Conference at Crossings Church (146000 N Portland Ave) features marriage expert, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and his wife, Sarah. This conference is ideal for married and engaged couples and singles who want to prepare for marriage. Childcare is available. Preregister. $45. Friday, 6:30-9pm; Saturday, 8:30am-1:30pm. 755-2227, crossings.church/love-respect PBR Oklahoma City Invitational at Chesapeake Energy Arena (100 W Reno Ave) features two action-packed days with the toughest cowboys and baddest bulls. $15 & up. Friday, 7:45pm; Saturday, 6:45pm. 6028700, www.chesapeakearena.com

Feb. 1

FREE Fishing Days in Oklahoma City (various locations). The city offers FREE fishing on the first Saturday of each month. No city permit is required; however, a state license is for anyone 16

32 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

and older. Regular fishing regulations apply. 297-1426, www.okc.gov

available: 2-3:30pm, 4:30-6pm & 7-8:30pm. 366-5472, www.normanfun.com

Kids Take Over the Cowboy at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St). Try your hand at pottery puzzles, create your own pottery design and enjoy storytelling and a showing of the claymation film Chicken Run. Free with admission while supplies last. 10am-noon. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org

FREE Lunar New Year Celebration at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features face painting, music, cultural presentations, crafts for kids and a special performance from the Lion Dancers. Afterward, join the Lion Dancers in a parade through the gardens. 6-9pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org

Drop-in Art at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features an art-making project inspired by the museum’s collection, exhibitions and special occasions. All ages welcome, no registration required. Free with admission. 11am-4pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com Norman Daddy Daughter Dance at Embassy Suites (2501 Conference Dr, Norman) features a fun evening for little girls and their fathers or father figures with dancing, music and refreshments. $17.50. Three times

Taste of OKC at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center (429 E California Ave) features fine foods from local restaurants, an open bar, silent and live auctions and live music. Benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters. $150. 6:30-9:30pm. tasteokc.com OKC Philharmonic Classics Series: From the Dramatic to the Sublime at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a selection of music from Chopin & Leshnoff performed by Ingrid Fliter, the University of Oklahoma Choruses and the OKC Philharmonic. $19 & up. 8pm. 297-2264, www.okcphil.org


Feb. 1-14

Hearts for Art at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St). Visit the museum and show your love for your favorite piece of art or artifact. Pick up a heart at visitor services, leave it by your selection and share on social media using #MyWest and #HeartsForArt. 10am-5pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org

Feb. 4-9

Come from Away at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) is a new musical that features the true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Recommended for ages 10 & up. $27 & up. 7:30pm. 594-8300, www.okcbroadway.com

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Feb. 5

FREE Cowgirls of Color at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features an all-black, all-female rodeo team presentation followed by activity stations around the museum. Best suited for ages 5 & up. Preregister. Free for school groups and chaperones. 10:30am-1pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org

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Feb. 7

FREE Night to Shine Prom at Putnam City Baptist Church (11401 N Rockwell Ave) features a prom night experience for people with special needs, ages 16 and older, with a red carpet, VIP treatment including hair and makeup stations, shoe shining stations, corsages & boutonnieres, a karaoke room and, of course, dancing. Parents get a night out, too! Parents and guardians can enjoy a special night of their own with live entertainment, dancing and dinner. Preregister, space is limited. 6-9pm. pcbc.tv/nighttoshine

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Feb. 8

Oklahoma City Fairytale Ball at Noah’s Event Venue (14017 Quail Springs Pkwy) features character appearances and fun activities including crafts, stories, games and more. $25-$50. 10-11:45am, 1:30-3:15pm & 5-6:45pm. 777-2411, www.facebook.com/ProjectPrincessOK

METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

33

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CALENDAR #OKCFAMILYFUN

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Check out our recommended January events for younger and older kids! Toddlers & Preschoolers

Tweens & Teens

Jan. 4

Through Feb. 2

Drop-in Art at Oklahoma City Museum of Art; 11am-4pm Craft a masterpiece inspired by the museum’s special exhibitions and permanent collection. These come-and-go activities are suitable for all ages and do not require pre-registration. Also held: Jan. 18.

Jan. 11

FREE Diaper Dash & Toddler Trot at Jackie Cooper Gym in Yukon; 10:30am-noon Babies 6-14 months and toddlers up to 18 months can compete to see who is the fastest. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 in each age group.

Jan. 19

PJ Masks Live! Save the Day at Chesapeake Energy Arena; 2pm Follow along with Catboy, Owlette and Gekko as they go into the night to save the day in an all-new live show.

Jan. 20

$1 Admission to Oklahoma WONDERtorium; 10am-5pm Enjoy $1 admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Bring non-perishable snacks to donate to local kids in need.

Jan. 23-Feb. 9

Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat at Lyric Theatre; see website for show times Lyric Theatre brings the classic children’s book to life with a wild ride of physical comedy. A sensory-friendly performance is scheduled for Jan. 25.

34 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

Devon Ice Rink at Myriad Gardens Enjoy fresh air with active fun on the ice.

Jan. 18

Norman Chocolate Festival at Norman North High School; 12-4pm Sample a selection of delectable treats from local restaurants and businesses and support future PTA projects in the Norman school district.

Jan. 24-26

Kicker ArenaCross at Lazy E Arena; 7:30 p.m. Watch some of the nation’s top professionals and amateur competitors take on a challenging dirt course to see who is the fastest.

Jan. 25

FREE Piece it Together Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament at the Norman Central Library; 1-3:30pm Test your skills in a head-to-head team competition. The first team to complete a 400-piece puzzle will claim a prize. Registration not required, but space is limited.

Jan. 25 & 26

Dragon Alley at the Payne County Expo Center; Saturday, 10am5pm; Sunday, 10am-4pm Celebrate literary and film works of wizards, witches, dragons and magical worlds at this traveling festival. Dress up is encouraged, as long as its family friendly.


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Weekly EVENTS CALENDAR

Preschool art classes at the MAC at Mitch Park (2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond) feature a variety of hands-on art projects designed for ages 2-5. Preregister. $2-$3. Tuesdays, 10:30am & Fridays, 10am. 359-4630, www.edmondparks.com


FREE Barre for Beginners at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St) features a hybrid workout class combining ballet-inspired moves with yoga & Pilates. For ages 12 & up. Preregister. Mondays, 6:30-7:30pm (except on Jan. 20; class held Jan. 21 instead). 9792200, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.org Storytime Science at Science Museum Oklahoma (2020 Remington Pl) features a story and corresponding hands-on science activity in various locations throughout the museum. Look for signs in the lobby for each month’s location. Best suited for ages 6 & under. Free with admission. Tuesdays & Saturdays, 10:30-11am. 6026664, www.sciencemuseumok.org Tuesday Classic Movies at Harkins Theatre (150 E Reno Ave) features special presentations of classic films on the big screen including Space Jam on Jan 14. $5. Tuesdays, 7pm. 231-4747, www.harkins.com FREE Art Adventures at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) for ages 3-5. Young artists are invited to experience art through books. Tuesdays, 10:30am. 325-3272, www.ou.edu/fjjma FREE Botanical Balance Yoga at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features an all-levels class. Check in at the south entrance to the Crystal Bridge to find out location. Bring mat and water. Tuesdays, 5:30pm; Saturdays, 8am. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org FREE Reading Wednesdays at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a nature-themed story time, interactive song and small craft. Best suited for ages 2-5. Walkups welcome. Wednesdays, 10am. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org Toddler Story & Craft Time at Unpluggits Paint & Play (575 Enterprise Dr, Ste 110, Edmond) features a short story time and age-appropriate craft. Free with admission. Wednesdays & Thursdays, 11-11:30am. 340-7584, www.unpluggits.com Yoga of 12 Step Recovery at Purposeful Play Family Enrichment Center (6051 N Brookline Ave, Ste 106) features a 12-step based discussion and yoga practice that is open to anyone dealing with their own addictive behaviors or those affected by the addictive

behaviors of others. Wear comfortable clothing. All levels welcome. Free to attend; donations accepted. Thursdays, 6:30pm. 607-4340, www.ppfec.com Family Skate Night at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St). Includes basic skate rental. Family package includes admission, skate rentals, pizza and drinks for up to five family members. $6 per person OR $29 for the family deal. Thursdays, 7-10pm; Sundays, 6-8pm. 605-2758, www.skategalaxyokc.com FREE Children’s Story Time at Full Circle Books (1900 N Expressway) features a fun story time with a special guest or staff member. Saturdays, 10:15am. 842-2900, www.fullcirclebooks.com FREE Littles Story Time at Commonplace Books (1325 N Walker Ave) features a half-hour, all-ages story time. Saturdays, 10:30am. 534-4540, www.commonplacebooksokc.com FREE Story Time & Craft at Best of Books (1313 E Danforth Rd, Edmond) features a kid-friendly story time and corresponding craft activity. Saturdays, 11am. 340-9202, www.bestofbooksok.com FREE Storytime & Activities at the Norman Barnes & Noble (540 Ed Noble Pkwy, Norman) features a themed story time and related activity. Saturdays, 11-11:45am. 579-8800, stores.barnesandnoble.com FREE Learn to Skate Lesson at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St) features a FREE roller skating lesson. No sign up required. Skate rentals start at $2. All ages welcome. Saturdays, noon. 6022758, www.skategalaxyokc.com Discovery Time at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features interactive, hands-on activities such as stories, crafts and discovery table specimens. For preschool & elementary-aged kids. Free with admission. Saturdays, 2pm; Sundays, 2:30pm. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu FREE Moore Chess Club at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore). Learn to play or improve your skills with other local players. All ages and skill levels welcome. Sundays, 1-4pm. ishkissenger@gmail.com

METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

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a fresh start

just add water.

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ONGOING EVENTS CALENDAR Through Jan. 5

images of some of Oklahoma’s most infamous criminals. The 38 black and white images consist of mug shots, crime scene locations and group shots with criminals and law enforcement officers, spanning more than 70 years. Adults, $7; kids (6-17), $5; kids (5 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm. 522-0765, www.okhistory.org

Through Jan. 18

24 Works on Paper at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame (1400 Classen Dr) features 24 artists from across Oklahoma that masterfully explore the limitless possibilities of paper. Adults, $7; kids (6-17), $5; kids (5 & under), free. TuesdayFriday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 10am-5pm. 235-4458, www.oklahomahof.com

A New Moon Rises at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features large-scale, high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface taken between 2009 and 2015 by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Adults, $8; kids (417), $5; kids (3 & under) free. MondaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu

Through Jan. 19

Through March 29

Edmond Ice Rink at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond) features ice skating, a train ride, music and food concessions. $12 with skate rental, $8 without, kids (under 5), $8; train rides, $3. MondayThursday, 3-9pm; Friday, 3-10pm; Saturday, noon-10pm; Sunday, noon-9pm. 274-1638, www.edmondicerink.com

Biblical Stories Re-Imagined at MabeeGerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee) features works on paper from the museum’s permanent collection from the 19th-21st centuries that illustrate Biblical stories such as Adam and Eve, the resurrection of Christ and the nativity. Artists include Marc Chagall, Jean Charlot, Rev. John Walch and Stephen Gyermek. Adults, $5; kids (6-17), $3; kids (5 & under), free. Tuesday- Saturday, 10am-5pm. 878-5300, www.mgmoa.org

Through Jan. 31

FREE 1920s Edmond: Ain’t We Got Fun? at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard, Edmond). See what Edmond was like during the Roarin’ Twenties. Tuesday- Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturdays, 1-4pm. 3400078, www.edmondhistory.org

Through Feb. 2

Devon Ice Rink at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features an outdoor ice skating rink with daily public skating, private parties and special events. $13; $8 without skates; members, $7. MondayThursday, 3-9pm; Friday, 3-11pm; Saturday, 11am-11pm; Sunday, noon-7pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org

Through Feb. 29

Wanted: Dead or Alive at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi) features

Through March 15

Cosmic Culture: Intersections of Art and Outer Space at Science Museum Oklahoma (2020 Remington Pl) features a Minecraft-inspired installation made from 2,000 bamboo and paper kites that explores how space exploration and visual art have influenced each other. Adults, $15.95; kids (3-12), $12.95. Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 11am-6pm. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.org

Through May 3

One Must See Many Things: Selections from Ben Shahn’s Rilke Portfolio at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features a selection of 20 lithographs by Ben Shahn, known for his linear and abstracted images of the human body. Adults, $12; kids (6-18), $10; kids (5 & under), free. Wednesday-Saturday, 10am5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm; Third Thursdays, until 9pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com

Through May 10

Find Your Western at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NW 63rd St) features a collection of movie posters, film stills, comic books, pulp publications, novels, costumes and more, all exploring how different people have interpreted the West. Adults, $12.50; kids, (6-12), $5.57; kids (5 & under), free. MondaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org

Find information about current museum exhibits at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/museums.

38 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

Opening Jan. 24

FREE O. Gail Poole’s Sideshow at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm Ave, Norman) features the satirical, often irreverent imagery of artist O. Gail Poole and the oddities of the artist’s late work. TuesdaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 325-4938, www.ou.edu/fjjma FREE Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm Ave, Norman) features the practices that emerged from Oklahoma in the midcentury with more than 150 drawings, documents and objects, many of which are drawn from the newly created American School Archive. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 325-4938, www.ou.edu/fjjma

Opening Jan. 31 FEATURED Warhol and the West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NW 63rd St) explores Warhol’s love of the West represented in his art, movies, attire, travels and collecting. The portfolio includes 14 iconic images of Western subjects such as Custer, Geronimo, Annie Oakley and John Wayne. Adults, $12.50; kids, (6-12), $5.57; kids (5 & under), free. MondaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org

Opening Feb. 1

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil at Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee) features photographs, sculptures, paintings, prints, religious objects and more highlighting the complex and vibrant culture of the northeast of Brazil. Adults, $5; kids (6-17), $3; kids (5 & under), free. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am5pm. 878-5300, www.mgmoa.org

WARHOL & THE WEST ANDY WARHOL, COWBOYS AND INDIANS: ANNIE OAKLEY, 1986 THE ANDY WARHOL MUSEUM, PITTSBURGH; FOUNDING COLLECTION, CONTRIBUTION THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS, INC. 1998.1.2493.2


LOCAL FAMILY FUN

INDOOR

PL AY

When the weather outside is frightful, parents often have to think creatively to keep children engaged and entertained. But, never fear, we’ve rounded up 15 places perfect for indoor fun at any age!

KIDZ FUNTOWN BY LINDSAY CUOMO. PHOTOS BY LAUREN SMITH.

NEW TO OKC KIDZ FUNTOWN

PLAY CAFÉ OKC

Kids can climb, slide, zip, swing and bounce around at Kidz Funtown. Owners Truong and Thuy Pham said they wanted to create a space for the community to enjoy.

Opening this January, Play Café is not a typical play space. Owner Liz Howald says she wanted to create a fun space for both kids and adults. This new family hot spot features a café with a wine, beer, cocktail and coffee bar, a menu of appetizers for light snacks and a Montessori-inspired play space for kids to enjoy dramatic play, building toys, imaginative play, board games and books. There will also be a dedicated space for babies. Drop-in rates are $5 for one child, $7 for two kids and $9 for three or more.

N. Lincoln Blvd., Edmond

“We want to make sure we are blessing the families that come in,” Truong said. “With young kids ourselves, we’ve been visiting indoor play places like this for years and we wanted to bring all of our favorite activities into one space.” The brand new 16,000-square-foot facility opened in November and features a multi-level playground, indoor zip lines, a soft Ninja obstacle course, mini trampolines, ball carousel and more. They also have a dedicated toddler area, playhouses, LEGO station and an arts and crafts table for quieter play. Older kids can challenge each other in the upstairs dodge ball space, and adults are welcome to join in on the fun, too! Admission is $13 for kids 12 and under; however, they frequently offer specials and discounts including weekday admission for toddlers. To learn more, visit www.kidzfuntown.com or follow them on Facebook.

40 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

610 N.W. 23rd St.

The café will also have a rotation of play zone attendants hosting special activities and workshops for families to enjoy including story times, music time with LaffLab, sensory play dates with Homegrown Learning Company, a mom’s article club and more. For more details, follow Play Café on Instagram or Facebook. For a more comprehensive indoor fun guide, including indoor swimming, ice skating, trampoline parks, museums and more, visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ultimate-indoor-fun-guide.


Can’t-Miss Favorites AMERICA’S INCREDIBLE PIZZA COMPANY 5833 N.W. Expressway

Play glow-in-the-dark mini golf, enjoy arcade games, take a spin around the Speedway track and hop aboard the roller coaster and carnival-style Scrambler.

BREAKAWAY INDOOR PLAYGROUND

4350 N. Lincoln Blvd., Edmond Climb, rock, slide, bounce and play on the three-story play structure with surprises to be discovered at every turn. Don’t miss the dedicated toddler space for little ones!

HEYDAY ENTERTAINMENT 3201 Market Pl., Norman

A plethora of family fun includes 24 bowling lanes, a 7,000-square-foot laser tag space, high-flying ropes course and more than 50 arcade games.

SCIENCE MUSEUM OKLAHOMA 2020 Remington Pl.

Explore space, light, motion, aviation and weather in this mecca of indoor fun.

All about Active

THE NEW PLAY CAFÉ OFFERS ADULT BEVERAGES, SNACKS AND A KIDS’ PLAY SPACE.

Hip with Tweens & Teens MAIN EVENT

1441 W. Memorial Rd. Belt out your favorite tunes in the karaoke lounges, climb high on a rock wall or ropes course, game together in the arcade and enjoy friendly competition in the billiards and bowling lanes. PLAY CAFÉ

JUMP!ZONE

URBAN AIR TRAMPOLINE & ADVENTURE PARK 2800 S. Telephone Rd., Moore

Race on a two-story go-kart track, climb towering structures, bounce on trampolines, test your agility on a warrior course and be the last man standing in the Wipeout attraction.

Perfect for Toddlers ANDY ALLIGATOR’S FUN PARK

10400 S. Western Ave. Bounce around on inflatables and climb to the top of the three-story play structure equipped with a huge slide, ball shooters and a zip line.

3300 Market Pl., Norman

SKATE GALAXY OKC

OKIE KIDS PLAYGROUND

The Kidz Zone, pint-size bowling lanes and Frog Hopper ride are fun features to keep tots moving.

5800 N.W. 36th St.

321 W. 15th St., Edmond

Roll around the rink anytime, or check out family night specials and free learnto-skate lessons on Saturdays.

Toddlers can milk a cow, take a spin on a kid-powered merry-go-round and sail away through their imaginations at this stimulating play space.

METRO GYMNASTICS

Hidden Gems

7420 Broadway Ext.

WE ROCK THE SPECTRUM

UNPLUGGITS PAINT & PLAY

This sensory-friendly indoor playground and kids’ gym welcomes kids of all ages and abilities to enjoy activities, equipment and crafts.

Get crafty together painting, sketching and sculpting, then explore the indoor playground featuring a two-story play structure, sunken pirate ship and toddler tree house.

64 E. 33rd St., Edmond

575 Enterprise Dr., Edmond

During their Toddler Open Gym program, tiny tots ages 3 and under can explore the gym and tumble around on soft structures.

METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

41


REAL MOMS OF THE METRO

is no greater “joyThere than watching my

Introducing Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year

Jena Nelson

kids grow and thrive and struggle and fail and then succeed again at things they never thought they could do. Nelson

BY ERIN PAGE. PHOTOS PROVIDED.

A glimpse inside Jena Nelson’s English composition classroom at Deer Creek Middle School in Edmond provides plenty of confirmation for why the dynamic educator was named Oklahoma’s 2020 Teacher of the Year. Nelson uses her background in theater to engage a generation of students that thrives on being entertained, declaring every hour in her class a different show and using props, songs and choreography to create an atmosphere where students feel they can be themselves. Over Nelson’s 14 years in public education, she’s taught a variety of subjects from English and writing to drama and theater, declaring herself a life-long learner always up for the challenge of taking on new subject matter.

I get to inspire. Today “ Today I get to teach. Today I get to send kids into the world and watch them be extraordinary. Nelson

“I would teach anything except math!” laughs Nelson. Nelson’s colleagues call her an electric force who knows how to empower and encourage students to take risks and realize their full potential. Nelson’s ardor in the classroom and dedication to her students come from her own

42 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

experience in public education, which she says saved her life.

Public Schools, Putnam City Public Schools and East Baton Rouge in Louisiana.

“I have done things I never imagined, and it’s all because teachers believed in me,” said Nelson. “That is why I am in the classroom today. I’m here to give what was given to me – a chance.”

Oklahoma’s 2020 Teacher of the Year shares more about her hopes and dreams for her students and public education in the state of Oklahoma:

Teachers who reached Nelson even in the midst of her teenage anger and defiance, cultivated by her traumatic home life, gave her hope then and still sustain her passion for teaching today. Though Nelson says she was “absolutely shocked” when her name was called as the state’s teacher of the year, her current and former students were not. Nelson helped former student Lauren Coco transfer to a different college in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when she wasn’t able to continue coursework in the ravaged city. Kennedy Porter remembers Nelson bringing in a Broadway actor to help drama students gain greater understanding and leverage to follow their dreams to a big stage. Porter also recalls Nelson following her car home after the high schooler had a particularly rough day, just to make sure she arrived safely. Deontaye Wilson calls Nelson both “outrageous” and the best teacher he’s ever had, grateful to her for encouraging him not to settle for less than his best. In addition to being an educator, Nelson finds her life’s purpose in being mom to 15-year-old Rase and 9-year-old Linnea and wife to Carl, a professor and director of chorale studies at the University of Central Oklahoma. This is Nelson’s third year in Deer Creek; she taught previously in Edmond

Your mantra has been that public education saves lives. How did it save yours? There was a lot of instability in my household, neglect and abuse. Getting to school was like breathing. I knew I’d get to see my teachers and experience kindness there. There was structure; I knew what my day would be like and what the expectations were. At home I didn’t know what it was going to be like from day to day. But at school I had my support system and for those hours I was in a safe environment. What do you love about working with teenagers? I love the fact that they are emerging and starting to have their own opinions about the world. They are trying to express themselves and find their own way. By the end of the year they grow into themselves and really soar. I see that in their writing and how they communicate. I get to see all they could possibly be, all their potential, if they will just stick with it. How have you incorporated college and job readiness into your middle school classroom, and why is that so important to you? Coming from the high school environment getting kids ready for college, helping


JENA NELSON WAS SHOCKED WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION JOY HOFMEISTER ANNOUNCED HER AS THE STATE’S 2020 TEACHER OF THE YEAR.

them get scholarships or jobs and then transitioning to middle school I realized I could focus on career readiness there, too. Right now my students are researching careers they might be interested in, putting together infographics and getting ready to make presentations to the class. Every student leaves my class with a starter resume, they can write professional emails and business letters and they learn how to interview. I work hard to instill work ethic, empathy and realworld applications so they leave feeling successful. What are you most focused on during your stint as Oklahoma’s teacher of the year? My platform is a combination of career readiness and trauma-informed care. But if I can do one thing this year, it will be a revolution of morale. Our state is facing a lot of issues, but we know what the problems are and it’s time to get past that to work on solutions and not pass the buck to someone else. Everyone has to take ownership; it can’t just be teachers, it’s got to be all of us coming together. I truly believe together we can make Oklahoma’s public education a top 10 in the nation. What’s the single most important thing parents can do to support teachers? Call your legislators and tell them how amazing your teachers are. Our legislators want to invest in a business they feel is succeeding. We hear so many negative stories, but if you want them to support public education take the time to send

a quick email, make a call or write that Facebook post to tell them how great things are. Tell your story of how public education saved your life or how your kids have benefitted. And in the classroom if parents can spend just a little time reading to students, helping with testing or making copies, it makes the world of difference to teachers to feel that support. How has being a mom impacted who you are as a teacher? Especially when my son was born, I had to learn to be a lot more patient. And that’s been patience across the board, not just with behavior but with how my students learn and grow and their grades. Not all kids just wake up making straight A’s; some have to work really hard and will struggle and make mistakes. But they all know I still love them. When you’re not teaching, what do you love to do? Gardening is a big passion of mine, and I love canning and making jams and jellies. We raise chickens — I’m really a farm girl at heart. I grew up in a wooded area with all kinds of animals I was responsible for and a one-acre garden. I love being connected to nature. How does your family enjoy spending time together? We love traveling and being outside. We really love to eat! We go back to Louisiana quite a bit to see friends and we love Cajun food. We try to eat as much as we can while we’re there!

METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

43

Experience the Casady School difference during an interactive preview of Casady’s Lower and Middle Divisions. This unique opportunity is a shadow day for students in grades 2-8 with an open house for parents.

Monday, Feb. 10, 2020 7:45 - 3:15 p.m. To register call (405) 749-3200 or email admission@casady.org 9500 North Pennsylvania Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73120 www.casady.org

Casady School is a PreK-12, independent, college preparatory Episcopal day school committed to deeper-level learning. Casady School seeks a student body that reflects the diversity of the world around us and therefore welcomes students without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, or ethnic origin.


EXPLORING OKLAHOMA WITH CHILDREN

Prime Oklahoma vacation spots in

2020

BY LINDSAY CUOMO. PHOTOS PROVIDED.

If you’re seeking to explore the great state we call home in 2020, we’ve got your vacation plans covered for every season of the year through this twopart series. Even if you’re a Sooner State adventure aficionado, we’ve uncovered some out-of-the-box ideas for family fun, intermingled with can’t-miss favorites. First up, discover winter destinations that deliver education and culture and spring spots to add to your travel bucket list.

Winter

LEFT: THE BLACK KETTLE NATIONAL GRASSLAND. TOP: THE WASHITA BATTLEFIELD NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE. ABOVE: THE VISITOR CENTER.

Southwestern Oklahoma is Great Plains Country, home to the sweeping plains so eloquently described in our state song. The region invites families to take a tour of a bygone era, highlighting the events and people that helped shape Oklahoma. The rugged landscape of the short grass prairie and towering granite mountains paint a beautiful backdrop to the area’s storied history, poignantly captured in the small towns that dot the old Chisholm Trail and historic Route 66. Here are three family-friendly destinations perfect to explore this winter. Washita Battlefield National Historic Site - Cheyenne (140 miles west of Oklahoma City) As one of three sites in the state operated by the National Park Service, the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site recounts Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer’s

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surprise attack on a Southern Cheyenne village. Visitors can learn about the tragic clash of cultures, what lead up to the attack and the history of the Great Plains Wars. Explore the museum’s exhibits, including narratives from survivors, and watch a film focused on the military engagement. Outside, walk the hallowed grounds and experience what life was like on the plains after the Land Run. A paved loop invites visitors to explore a dugout house, working windmill and Native garden. Embark on a self-guided walking trail to see the prayer tree and site of the conflict, with educational stops along the way. The first half of the one-and-a-half-mile trail is paved, wheelchair and stroller accessible. The second half is a dirt and grass path that leads to picturesque views of the Washita River. On the way, you’re likely to spot some of the wildlife that


TOP LEFT: LT. GENERAL THOMAS P. STAFFORD, A WEATHERFORD NATIVE WHO COMMISSIONED TWO APOLLO MISSIONS. LEFT: CHISHOLM TRAIL HERITAGE CENTER, DUNCAN. ABOVE: EXHIBIT AT THE STAFFORD AIR & SPACE MUSEUM.

call the neighboring Black Kettle National Grasslands home. Admission is free to the visitor’s center and historical site, open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guided tours and a junior ranger program are available upon request; call 580497-2742 to schedule your guided tour. Chisholm Trail Heritage Center - Duncan (84 miles southwest of Oklahoma City) Chisholm Trail Heritage Center chronicles the heyday of the cattle-driving trail. Merging together picturesque art, hightech theater experiences and old-fashioned, hands-on fun, visitors can experience what life was like on the famous trail. Learn about stampedes, frontiersmen and women, Native American tribes and more through awardwinning exhibits. “Kids can rope a steer, ride a bucking bronco, create their own brand and shop in a recreation of the Duncan General Store,” said

Toni Hopper, a representative with the center. “The T.H. McCasland, Jr. Experience Theater is the closest to a real stampede you’ll ever want to get!” The Painted Ladies – Watercolors of Friendship art show opens in January and March is the Heritage Center’s youth art month, showcasing local students’ creations. The center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. A family one-day pass is $17 for up to six kids. Individual admission ranges from $4 to $6; kids under 5 are free. Stafford Air & Space Museum Weatherford (70 miles west of Oklahoma City) Peruse the pioneers of flight and space exploration at The Stafford Air & Space Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate museum named after Lt. General Thomas P. Stafford, a native of Weatherford. Stafford piloted

Gemini VI and was the commander of Gemini IX and two Apollo missions. Stafford’s namesake museum houses several artifacts of the history of flight, aeronautics and the space race, including an actual Titan II rocket, a Russian MiG and items flown to the moon on Apollo 11. The exhibits take visitors on a historical journey of the accomplishments and failures of the journey to flight. Learn about Stafford’s early career, his four space missions and early and modern aviation. In the education center, kids can put what they learn into action with several interactive stations including flight simulators and a close-up look at what astronauts experience in space. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for kids ages 5 to 18. Kids 5 and under are free.

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Spring Black Mesa - Kenton (360 miles northwest of Oklahoma City) A trip to Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve is an especially fun option for extra days off during spring break. Black Mesa is the highest point in Oklahoma at 4,973 feet above sea level, and the trek up to the top gives families incredible views of distinct elevation changes and the tri-state border. Hikers can explore the short grass prairie at the base and the foothills covered with juniper, shrub oak and cacti. At the top, the summit offers expansive views of New Mexico and Colorado in the distance. The state park is also known for its remote, dark skies, perfect for stargazing. In fact, the area draws a host of astronomy enthusiasts. Summer’s heat can really soar at Black Mesa, making springtime a more enjoyable time to visit, but hikers should still pack plenty of water. An average hike to the summit takes around four hours. Also located in Black Mesa State Park is Lake Carl Etling, a hot spot for spring trout fishing. Campgrounds near the lake offer picnic areas and a playground, as well as late night views of the sweeping sky. Just past the east end of the state park families can hunt for dinosaur tracks preserved in sandstone at Carrizo Creek. Originally discovered in the 1980s, portions of the tracks are still visible today. The exact species is unknown but scientists believe the tracks were made by a theropod, a classification of dinosaurs with hollow bones and three-toed limbs. The tracks are on private property; however, visitors can access the tracks during the day. Families can extend their stay at one of the nearby ranches offering lodging and activities including hiking and guided horseback trail riding. The Hitching Post Lodging & Ranch lets families stay in a 100-year-old two-story rock house and Hoot Owl Ranch welcomes families for overnight stays in one of their two cabins. The owners of Hoot Owl Ranch showcase some of the historical excavations found on the ranch including a Spanish conquistador helmet and dinosaur bones. Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series. Check back in February for our summer and fall recommendations for your next Oklahoma family vacation. BLACK MESA IS THE HIGHEST AND MOST NORTHWESTERN POINT IN OKLAHOMA. VISITORS CAN SEE THREE STATES FROM THE PEAK.

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FRI, JAN 31 (6:30-9PM) - SAT, FEB 1 (8:30AM-1:30PM) Crossings Community Church is excited to present Jumpstart Your Marriage: Love and Respect Marriage Conference, featuring esteemed speaker and marriage expert, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, and his wife of 46 years, Sarah, live at the OKC Campus. Come discover a simple truth hidden in plain sight that will help you create harmony and happiness in your marriage. This conference is ideal for married or engaged couples and singles who want to prepare for marriage. Don’t worry about a babysitter—register for Jumpstart Your Marriage and reserve your spots for childcare.

AB OUT T H E S P E A K E R S :

Based on over three decades of counseling, as well as scientific and biblical research, Dr. Eggerichs developed the Love and Respect Marriage Conference which he presents to live audiences around the country. This dynamic and life-changing conference is impacting the world, resulting in the healing and restoration of countless relationships. Dr. Eggerichs has authored 12 books, including the New York Times bestseller Love and Respect, which is a Platinum and Book of the Year award winner, selling over 1.9 million copies.

REGISTER TODAY! CROSSINGS.CHURCH/LOVE-RESPECT

EDMOND CAMPUS SUNDAY SCHEDULE // 9:30 & 11:00AM 1500 W COVELL RD, EDMOND, OK 73003 // 405.242.5460 //

@CROSSINGSEDMOND

OKC CAMPUS SUNDAY SCHEDULE // 8:15, 9:15 & 10:45AM 14600 N PORTLAND AVE, OKC, OK 73134 // 405.755.2227 //

@CROSSINGSOKC

CROSSINGS.CHURCH


Super Kids

of the Metro

Living to Serve:

Courtney Gaines

Courtney Gaines is living a life of firsts. Now a 16-year-old sophomore at Choctaw High School, when in elementary school she was the first from her class selected for Choctaw’s Jumping Jackets troop, performing jump rope tricks. She was the first Oklahoman chosen to participate in the Be Beautiful, Be Yourself Fashion Show, held in Las Vegas, Nev., in November. Along with her mom DeAnna and brother Isaiah, Courtney is launching her own company, CloZet 21c, this spring to aid nonprofit organizations serving people with special needs and historically black colleges and universities.

BY ERIN PAGE. PHOTOS PROVIDED.

Courtney is active in JROTC, student council, choir and her church, happiest when surrounded by friends and family. She is an ambassador for Girl Trek, a nonprofit organization aimed at getting African American females engaged with physical activity. She works to encourage girls with special needs because, as mom DeAnna reports, the obesity rate is higher among this group because of limited mobility. All of Courtney’s work on behalf of individuals with special needs is personal. She happens to have Down syndrome, but the tenacious teen is determined to live her life in such a way that everyone she meets will only focus on her abilities. “She has no fear,” said DeAnna. “I can’t think of anything she wouldn’t try. And she’s one of the friendliest people, always giving hugs and encouraging others.”

Outward focus Courtney finds fun and fulfillment among typically developing teens, like on her soccer team, and with individuals with special

48 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

needs, as she does on the Shining Starz cheerleading squad. It was that belief in herself, along with her compassion and infectious smile, that cinched her spot in the Be Beautiful, Be Yourself Fashion Show. A fundraiser for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, with proceeds benefiting medical care and research, Courtney auditioned for the show this past spring. Anyone with Down syndrome, age 7 or older, can apply, and 20 self-advocate models were selected for the 2019 show. Celebrities escort each of the models, with actress Mikaela Hoover escorting Courtney down the runway. Courtney also loved meeting actor, producer and director Henry Winkler, musician Quincy Jones, actor Jamie Foxx and self-advocate DeOndra Dixon, Foxx’s sister. True to her outgoing nature, Courtney presented Dixon with a Girl Trek hoodie. DeAnna was moved by their interaction as Dixon pledged to become more active in Girl Trek, thanks to Courtney’s inspiration. But Courtney’s favorite part of participating in the show was knowing the tremendous impact it makes on Down syndrome research and medical care, with close to one million dollars raised this year, according to DeAnna.

COURTNEY IS PASSIONATE ABOUT EXERCISE.

“It helps a lot of people, and I like helping people,” said Courtney. That same drive sparked the idea for Courtney’s company CloZet 21, launching in March. The company will sell clothing and


accessories to raise money for causes dear to Courtney’s heart, with the first campaign supporting American Medical Refugees. Approximately three fundraising campaigns will be held each year, with 30 percent of profit aiding organizations agreed upon by the board of directors.

and her dad passed away three days before she was born. DeAnna had recently left her successful career as a parole and probation officer to return to school to get a degree in education. She faced the realization that she would be raising a child with special needs and had to find a new career alone.

DeAnna sees the business as not only an avenue for Courtney to help others but also an opportunity for the teen, who’s been wanting to get a job since she turned 16, to further develop her work ethic. In addition to preparing Courtney for college, DeAnna wants to set up her daughter with a long-term meaningful career.

It was her faith and church family that pulled her through hard times. She also found community through the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma and has excelled in her work in special education at Star Spencer High School.

“She is more than capable of the operations of this type of a business,” said DeAnna. “She loves socializing with people, and this gives her joy.”

Inner strength Courtney comes by her inner strength and desire to serve naturally, her mom setting an example in perseverance and determination. Courtney is the youngest of nine siblings,

“When you’re pregnant, you have [all] these plans,” said DeAnna. “When you find out your child has a disability it’s scary and you have to modify your goals. You gauge where they are and you reset [your] goals, just like with any child.” DeAnna has always focused on Courtney’s abilities, helping her realize her goals and watching in awe as her daughter lives a fulfilled, inspirational life with no boundaries. “People see me do things and it helps them to know people with Down syndrome can do more than they think,” said Courtney.

COURTNEY IS ESCORTED BY ACTRESS MIKAELA HOOVER AS ONE OF 20 SELF ADVOCATES SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE BE BEAUTIFUL, BE YOURSELF FASHION SHOW.

PREPARE TO BE SURPRISED. Meet the Maddox family. They have two boys, a daughter with cerebral palsy who is confined to a wheelchair and an infant they foster. It’s more than most of us could handle. But the Maddoxes don’t just receive help from United Way agencies, they find room in a stretched budget and they give to the United Way. Can you? GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER.

All the best toys are at learning tree

United Way of Central Oklahoma

UNI_19-M1-UW-006 Give_MetroFamily.indd 1

STEM Toys

7638 N. Western, OKC 8/28/19 3:51 PM

405-848-1415

METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

49


PARTIES

Extreme Animals

We bring the zoo to you!

Birthday Parties Educational Programs • Church Events & more! • •

Contact us for a wildly experience! 405-413-3157 • www.extremeanimals.org

Do You Have a Child That is a Problem Feeder? IT’S COOL TO

PARTY AT THE POOL! Two hours of private access to Goldfish Swim School Invitations & envelopes Balloons, tropical decorations & centerpieces

(405) 693-1937 fo reve raae r p a r r e s . co m

Cupcakes & beverages for the children

EDMOND | 405.696.7500 www.goldfishswimschool.com

Does your child: - eat the same foods every day? - eat less than 20 foods? - cry or fall apart with new foods? - refuse an entire category of food? - eat a different meal than the rest of the family?

Our Certified Feeding Therapists Can Help!

50 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

SPECIAL NEEDS

Contact us today for more information


K-6th Grade Beginning Reading, Writing & Math

Tutoring Learning Disability Specialist

Call Gail Moss TODAY! 405-285-7450 M.S. Ed - Learning Disabilities. M.Ed - Counseling & Guidance, Author of “Together We Win” a children’s book about the OKC Thunder. References available upon request.

Come Grow with Us

Enroll in Pre-K Today!

Multi-Sensory Curriculum • Bible Time Music • Story Time • Certified Teachers MDO, Preschool & Pre-K ages 2mo-5yrs

Learn more about the Early Childhood Program 405-755-3258 • ecp@qsumc.org www.qsumc.org/ecp • 14617 N. Penn, OKC

OKC Heartland Montessori School

HMS • 3 to 6 years old • Multi-age and fully integrated Montessori environment • Child-centered learning with individualized instruction • Masters degree and Montessori certified teachers

Please call 405-463-5523 or visit our website at www.okcheartlandmontessori.com. 6120 N. Drexel Blvd. OKC

Our field trips are a blast! • Oklahoma history comes to life • Ages 6-10 • Available Tues.-Fri. all year • Perfect for schools, day cares & homeschool groups.

Schedule your fun tour & program today!

1721 N. Lincoln Boulevard, OKC

405-235-4058

www.harnhomestead.com

dsapper@harnhomestead.com METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

51

EDUCATION

Give your child an edge!


RESTAURANTS &EDUCATION SHOPPING

FAMILY FUN

Family Favorites 2018 WINNER

Experience the Best Childhood Preparation for Social and Academic Success. We offer

• Foreign Language Program • Full or Part Time Care • Before and/or After School Transportation • School Age Summer Program • STEAM and Chess Curriculum • Organic Produce • Gardening • Certified Safe Room • Indoor Gym and so much more!

Warm up with a BIG CHILI MUG! walk-ins always welcome

Open Paint & Play All Day Indoor Playground Paint & Takes Ceramics Clay Workshops Grown-ups Paint Nights

The Goddard School - Western Ave. 17440 N. Western Avenue, Edmond, OK 73012

405-348-4442 goddardschool.com

AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

The Goddard Schools are operated by independent franchisees under a license agreement with Goddard Systems, Inc. Programs and ages may vary. Goddard Systems, Inc. program is AdvancED accredited. © Goddard Systems, Inc. 2015

405-340-PLUG • www.unpluggits.com • 575 Enterprise Drive, Edmond (South of 15th, off Kelly)

I AM A GIRL SCOUT Cathy Ferguson competed in the 1964 Olympic Games in Japan. She received a Gold Medal. She was inducted into the international swimming hall of fame as an “Honor Swimmer” in 1978. Take the lead and forge your own path with Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma!

GSWESTOK.ORG/JOIN

52

METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

BALLET | JAZZ TAP | HIP HOP

DANCE TEACHES US TO

FOR OUR DREAMS & HAVE FUN ALONG THE WAY

OKLAHOMACITYDANCESTUDIO.COM 405.721.8807


RESTAURANTSRESTAURANT & SHOPPING

Cox Convention Center in downtown OKC

MetroFamily’s

Kids Fest

Don't miss this fun event! • Petting zoos • Stage entertainment • Celebrity guests • Bounce houses • Games and art projects • Roaming characters • Meet & support young entrepreneurs • Connect with your community!

www.metrofamilymagazine.com/kids-fest

Acton

CHILDREN'S BUSINESS FAIR

Know an Awesome Mom?

Get ready to nominate her for our annual contest starting Feb. 2!

METROFAMILY MAGAZINE & GIRL SCOUTS WESTERN OKLAHOMA

Your child could be an entrepreneur for a day! Register for the for the Acton Children’s Business Fair on March 28, held in conjunction with Kids Fest at the Cox Convention Center. Open to ages 6-14. Deadline is Jan. 15.

Learn more and register at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/cbf METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

53

METROFAMILY PROJECTS

Save the date: March 28, 2020


TH

E

T LE

#OKCFamilyFun B

EGIN

One of our favorite “climbing trees.” @wildnernedge

Friday Night Fun @sciencemuseumok. @sistergldnhairsurprise

We love seeing how YOU enjoy all OKC has to offer! Use the tag #OKCFamilyFun in photos of you and your family out and about for a chance to be featured here in an upcoming issue.

It was a good, cold and beautiful day to be wild+free. @scissortales.play

JOY to the world! @thegilmartingirls

#juniebjones reading from #jinglebellsbatmansmells @literatipress in @thepaseoplunge before the musical @oklahomachildrenstheatre. @echo.steve

Our education team is constantly writing curriculum and coming up with new and fun programs to bring to our visitors. We are lucky to have such dedicated educators. @museumofosteologyokc

#OKCFamilyFun is sponsored by Crestone Ridge.

(405) 820-6851

www.crestoneridge.com

54 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JANUARY 2020

Convenient living at its finest! • Yukon schools • Close to the Kilpatrick Turnpike • Clubhouse with pool • Playground • Beautiful custom homes


2020

MEN’S GYMNASTICS 2.8 3.13 2.21

IOWA AIR FORCE CALIFORNIA

5 PM 7 PM 5 PM

TICKETS SOONERSPORTS.COM/TICKETS OR CALL: 405-325-2424

2020

WOMEN ’S GYMNASTIC S 1.20 1.31 2.14

ARKANSAS IOWA STATE WEST VIRGINIA, TWU

1:30 PM 6:45 PM 6:45 PM

2:29 3.6

DENVER MICHIGAN

11:30 AM 7:30 PM


Profile for MetroFamily Magazine

MetroFamily Magazine January 2020  

MetroFamily Magazine January 2020