MetroFamily Magazine Jan/Feb 2023

Page 1

JAN/FEB 2023 Striving for B+ Redefining success for our students Geek Out! The best in metro STEAM programs Grown-up Getaways Plan an adults-only vacation this year ANNUAL Education GuideDiscover academic & enrichment opportunities in OKC
This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor Jeannie & Jonathan Lavine. Additional major funding was provided by the
& Allen z”l, Elisa Spungen & Rob, Nancy & Jim; and
Museum’s exhibitions are also supported by the Lester Robbins and
Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special
in 1990. AMERICAN S AND THE HOLOCAUST WH AT DI D AM ERIC ANS KN OW ? WH AT MORE COUL D HA VE B EEN DONE ? PRESENTED BY: Check out our programming lineup: Jan. 5 - Feb. 12 Check out our programming lineup: This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor Jeannie & Jonathan Lavine. Additional major funding was provided by the Bildners—Joan & Allen z”l, Elisa Spungen & Rob, Nancy & Jim; and Jane and Daniel Och. The Museum’s exhibitions are also supported by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund, established in 1990. AND THE HOLOCAUST WH AT DI D AM ERIC ANS KN OW ? WH AT MORE COUL D HA VE B EEN DONE ? PRESENTED BY: Check out our programming lineup: AMERICAN S AND THE HOLOCAUST WH AT DI D AM ERIC ANS KN OW ? WH AT MORE COUL D HA VE B EEN DONE ? Check out our programming lineup:
Jane and Daniel Och. The



we don’t want to wake Pistol Pete and Boomer.

Pete and Boomer.

Our favorite mascots need 7–9 hours of sleep each night to have enough energy to cheer on their teams. So do you!

Better sleep equals b e tter health.

we don’t want to wake Pistol
4 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023 50 Features 10 NEW YEAR SMILES Dental Depot answers common questions about kid dental care 12 ANNOUNCING METROFAMILY’S 2023 COVER KIDS Meet the winners of our annual search 27 ANNUAL EDUCATION GUIDE Discover academic & enrichment opportunities in OKC 46 REDEFINING KIDS’ STRENGTHS IN SCHOOL How & why to encourage students to strive for B+s GEEK OUT! The best in metro STEAM programs Departments EXPLORING BEYOND OKLAHOMA 3 places to consider for your next grown-ups only getaway 18 CALENDAR OF EVENTS Dozens of events happening now PLUS a bucket list of great events to enjoy all year 28 FAMILY MENTAL WELLNESS Brain Power: Assessing and harnessing neurodiversity 40 NEW & NOW Unique local programs provide outof-the-box learning experiences REAL DADS OF THE METRO Henry Rice on teaching nonviolence through love and kindness From the Cover Annual Education Guide page 27 Striving for B+ page 46 Geek Out! page 50 Grown-up Getaways page 14 14
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO 56 58 LOCAL FAMILY FUN Get wild about conservation with metro attractions & museums 62 LAST LOOK 5 ideas for active #okcfamilyfun on a winter day PHOTO BY OKC ZOO

Publisher Sarah Taylor

Managing Editor

Erin Page

Assistant Editor

Lindsay Cuomo

Art Director

Stacy Noakes

Senior Project Manager

Kirsten Holder

Director of Events

Casey Shupe

Editorial Assistant Emiley Bainbridge

Account Executive

Dana Price

Contributing Writers

David Dinsmore

Debbie Murnan

Contributing Photographer Bridget Pipkin

Contact us Mailing address: 6608 N. Western Ave., #458 Oklahoma City, OK 73116 Phone: 405-601-2081

MetroFamily Magazine is published bimonthly. Copyright 2023 by MetroFamily HoldCo, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or MetroFamily HoldCo, LLC. 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.

Happy New Year!

As many of us start 2023 with high-achieving goals and resolutions in mind, I invite you to consider the opposite … lower your expectations. And then lower them again.

If you know me and my relentless Type A(++), Enneagram 1 personality, this may sound like I have been abducted. But hear me out.

In mid-2022, I tossed the idea out to our MetroFamily editorial team that, instead of striving for perfection, our goal should be B+. This came amidst health and family challenges for our team members that, coupled with often high-stress jobs, meant we were well on our way to burnout. Perfection isn’t a realistic goal, whether at work or as a parent, and we all (me included) needed to be reminded of that.

Several months later, I received an email with a similar plea for parents: author, mom and education and psychology instructor Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe believes we should teach our kids to strive for B+s in the classroom as part of a larger mission to shape realistic expectations of future work-life balance. (Find more of Dr. Robyne’s revolutionary advice on page 46.)

The repetition of this message stopped me in my tracks. The hustle culture isn’t healthy for me, and it isn’t healthy for my kids. I want my kids to know how to set boundaries and avoid burnout, how to value hard work over perfection and how to slow down to appreciate the world around them. Spoiler alert: that means I have to model this for them.

I get that this approach won’t be for everyone. Setting new year goals and resolutions is healthy and helpful for many. But if you’re a parent, like me, who needs to focus instead on giving yourself more grace this year, I’m cheering you on!

In solidarity,


Cherryse is the winner of MetroFamily’s 2023 Cover Kids Search in the 10-12 age category! She is in the fifth grade at Classen School of Advanced Studies, and she enjoys singing, coding, making bracelets, swimming, acting, playing basketball and going camping with Girl Scouts.

Read more about Cherryse and our other 2023 Cover Kid Search winners on pages 12-13.

Special thanks to Oklahoma City Public Schools for providing the bus backdrop and location for Cherryse’s cover photoshoot!

Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce & Edmond Chamber of Commerce Proud member of

Use our Searchable... Education Guide

Looking for the best in local educational opportunities for your child? Our searchable Education Guide, updated throughout the year, includes information on private schools, charter schools, online schools, preschool programs, field trip opportunities, tutors and educational enrichment opportunities. Visit


Black History Month

in February — and all year long!

Find our Black History Month Guide, including a list of local events, museum exhibits, book recommendations and activities to enjoy as a family, as well as local Black-owned restaurants, shops and businesses to support, at black-history-month

Our annual Awesome Moms Contest is coming up Jan. 11 through March 1, and we want to hear about the inspirational moms, grandmas, teachers, mentors and other mother figures in your life. Your nominee will be eligible to win fantastic prizes, including a feature on MetroFamily’s website; a stay at Wyndham Hotel; a spa package from 10 North Spa; gift cards to Redrock, Hefner Grill, Mama Roja’s and Upper Crust; and Eminence Organics products

Starting Jan. 11, submit your written nomination of 250 words or less and a photo of your nominee at Nominations must be received by March 1.

Frugal Family Fun in OKC

If your new year’s resolutions include sticking to a family budget, you can still enjoy plenty of #okcfamilyfun this winter! Check out our list of 50 Things to Do Under $5 at metrofamilymagazine/50-under-5-winter.

Plus, don’t miss our monthly list of the top 10 FREE events for families in OKC, sponsored by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (where kids 17 and under always get in free!), at

Nominate your favorite Awesome


baby’s photo

Parents can enter babies ages 0 to 3 years by submitting photos on MetroFamily’s website or directly on Instagram by using the hashtag #cutestbabyokc and tagging @metrofamilyokc in the post. The 10 chosen winners will be announced in the May/June issue, plus they will be eligible to win a prize such a Radio

Oh, Baby!

The team at MetroFamily got to “meet” more than 100 of the cutest babies in OKC through our 2022 Cutest Baby Photo Contest! Every single one captured our hearts, and it was next to impossible to select 10 winners. Meet our final two winners here, and find a full list of winners at Thanks so much to everyone who submitted photos, and thanks to prize sponsors Green Bambino and lactation consultant Becky Drevets.

Flyer™Duoflex Bike Trailer, Britax All-in-One Car Seat, products from Evereden, every day essentials for new baby and more! Find out more and enter your baby’s photo Feb. 1-28 at


5 months

14 months

Zian loves bananas, oranges, sandwiches, music and playing the piano with mommy.

NORTH OKLAHOMA CITY 13801 N. PENNSYLVANIA AVE OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73134 405-286-3114 | VISIT US ONLINE on the brands you trust with our everyday low prices. Earn CASH when you sell us the toys, clothes, and equipment your kids have outgrown! METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023 7 OFF THE PAGES
in our
Adeline loves music, being outdoors and sitting up like a big girl. Contest for a chance to WIN!
2023 Cutest Baby Photo

Make Your Life Easier!

Our primary goal at MetroFamily is to make life easier for local parents. Because parents are often overwhelmed and inundated with information and advice, we make your mornings easy by delivering bite-size timely news, family fun ideas and real-life parenting tips straight to your email inbox.

Sign up for MetroFamily’s FREE e-newsletter at metrofamilymagazine. com/subscribe

Sign up for MetroFamily’s FREE e-newsletter to receive:

Top weekend events, for family fun planning made easy

Parent-vetted resources to help you choose kid activities, educational opportunities, healthcare professionals, birthday party venues and much more

Seasonal guides with frugal family fun ideas, festivals, school break camps and more Family mental health tips and resources

Details on our annual events

Raising OKC Kids podcast featuring local experts on topics relevant to parents, grandparents and caregivers

Contest info for a chance to win fabulous prizes


For just $25 annually, become a MetroFamily Insider and receive a mailed subscription to MetroFamily Magazine, discounted and early bird tickets to MetroFamily events such as OKC Thrive Fest at RIVERSPORT, Kids Fest, Cover Kids and Geekapalooza and other special offers. Join today

Get MetroFamily Magazine
Join us us Saturday,
for a
our kids and
Ready for a wellness boost and loads of family fun? FREE Activities Include: Raft paddling Cloud bounce Admission is FREE! VIP Activity Wristbands available for purchase Kids zipline Celebrity guests Learn more and preregister at: Adventure course Pump track AND SO MUCH MORE! Race rollers Interactive play stations Yard games Thanks to our Supporting Sponsors:
March 25 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at RIVERSPORT OKC near downtown
local celebration of family health and wellness. We all want
families to thrive inside and out and this event will
need to boost your family’s wellness factor!

For the of Your Child’s Smile


The month of February is all about sharing love — including love for your teeth! In honor of February being National Children’s Dental Health Month, we asked the experts at Dental Depot to share their answers to common parent questions about kids’ dental care.

When should my child have their first dentist appointment?

The American Dental Association recommends parents bring babies to the dentist soon after their first tooth breaks through the gums. This gives the dentist a chance to check for decay, provide advice for preventing future decay (including sealants) and show you how to care for your child’s teeth. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions in kids, affecting 20 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 11.

When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?

As soon as your child’s first tooth breaks through the gums, begin brushing their teeth with a baby toothbrush or a warm washcloth. Brushing your baby’s teeth twice a day will prevent cavities and ensure your baby has the healthiest smile. Use of a pea-sized amount of children’s toothpaste is recommended for children from 2 to 6 years of age.

About Dental Depot

What kind of products should I use?

For babies and kids alike, stick to brushes with soft bristles. Your child’s toothbrush should be changed every three months.

Does my child need dental sealants?

Dental sealants can prevent 80 percent of cavities from happening! They are applied as a thin coating over the deep pits and grooves of the molars, typically around ages 6 and 12, preventing plaque and bacteria from building up in hard-toreach places.

Each tooth is cleaned and dried to keep bacteria from getting trapped. Then, an etching solution is applied to the chewing surface of the tooth and the sealant is brushed onto the tooth and cured. The process is quick and painless with no numbing required. Because sealants are preventative services, most insurances – including Medicaid – cover sealants at 100 percent up to ages 14 to 16.

Dental Depot’s newest metro location in the Deer Creek area at Portland Avenue and 164th Street offers comprehensive dental care for the entire family, including full-service general dentistry, dental hygiene and state-of-the-art orthodontics. Flexible appointment times are available Monday through Saturday, with same-day emergency appointments available, too. SoonerCare, most major insurances and cash pay are all accepted. Dental Depot is an Oklahoma-based company providing convenient, affordable and quality dental care, as well as support of various metro nonprofit organizations, for more than 40 years. Visit for more information and to make an appointment.


7 Tips for Reluctant Brushers

Does your child hate brushing their teeth? Check out these 7 tips from Dental Depot to make brushing easier on them (and you!).

Cut this out and place on the bathroom mirror for a handy reminder!

Consider why — and ask them what they don’t like about brushing during a calm moment. Maybe their current toothbrush hurts their mouth or they don’t like the taste of their toothpaste. Perhaps they are sensitive to new textures or they just don’t like to stand still. Understanding why brushing is bothersome can increase empathy and help you choose the best ways to encourage them.

Incorporate movement. Let them squeeze a fidget ball, pet their favorite stuffed animal or march in place or down the hall and back while brushing.

Give choices. Have a few toothbrushes for your child to choose from and let them pick which toothbrush to use. This helps them feel more in control of the situation.

Try a reward system. Maybe your child receives a note from the tooth fairy, a sticker or another reward every time they brush. Use a sticker chart; once your child has accumulated a certain number, they get a bigger reward, such as a trip to the park.

Set a timer or sing a song to get them to work at it longer.

Make up a fun story, for instance, about getting the “sugar monsters” off their teeth. “Oops, the sugar monster just ran across your tongue, let’s get it!”

Make it fun! Educate your child about brushing their teeth with fun books and videos. For example, Dental Depot’s Smiley O’Riley program educates kids about good oral hygiene habits. This educational, entertaining video presentation for ages PreK through 5th grade features Smiley O’Riley and his friends the Sugar Free Allstars and is perfect for teachers and parents alike. Watch here:

With a bit of modification and creativity, you and your children might actually look forward to the teeth brushing routine! Find more information at


The Oklahoma City metro is not short on kids with dazzling smiles, bright personalities and kind hearts! We loved meeting each and every child who participated in our 2023 Cover Kids Search contest. After the registration period, you, our readers and fans, voted on your favorite Cover Kid hopefuls in each age category, selecting our top-voted finalists. Each of the finalists was interviewed by a panel of local community leaders. Thank you to our interviewers, including

former Cover Kids Myles and Ethan; Dr. Mautra Staley Jones, president of Oklahoma City Community College; educators Danielle & Andre Daughty; Shannon Rich, president and CEO of Oklahoma Hall of Fame; Dora Evans, community connections coordinator at Sunbeam Family Services; MetroFamily contributing blogger Sasha Hughes; and MetroFamily contributing writer April Deocariza.

Thank you to everyone who entered and voted!

Ages 2-3: Raya

Raya’s parents call her their ray of sunshine! She is 2 years old and loves to paint, mix colors, dance and clap to the beat. She enjoys being outdoors, looking for bugs and flowers, playing in dirt and water and learning how things grow. Raya loves making her own decisions and gaining more independence. Raya is the daughter of Alex and Martel, and together they enjoy adventuring all around OKC, including going to the Myriad Gardens, Science Museum Oklahoma, OKC Zoo, Moore Station water park, Pelican Bay and indoor play gyms. Raya also loves going to Target to shop for groceries, where the produce section is her favorite!

Ages 4-5: Claire

Claire turned 5 in January 2023 and attends PreK at Goddard School in Edmond. She is confident and determined to conquer new skills: she recently added riding her bike without training wheels, whistling and memorizing her dad’s phone number to her repertoire. Claire loves to paint, craft, dance, attend gymnastics classes, play with her dog, Fred, dig in the dirt and dress up. Her favorite meal is mac and cheese with peas. Claire is the daughter of Ashley and Mark and little sister of Cael, and together they like visiting parks all around the metro, as well as going to Science Museum Oklahoma, the OKC Zoo and their local library.

Ages 8-9: Cason

Cason’s family calls him Bear, and he is a kind-hearted, fun-loving second grader in Oklahoma City. He attends Wilson Elementary School, where his favorite subject is math. Cason enjoys gaming, playing football, going to Jump Zone, dancing, listening to music, hanging out with friends and family and playing with his dog, Jazz. He loves learning about and celebrating his heritage as a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, and he also loves being uncle to his 1-yearold niece. Cason is the son of Carey, and together their family enjoys playing card games and participating in powwows.

Ages 6-7: Rex

Rex is an active second grader from Edmond who loves to tell jokes, dance, swim and play flag football and baseball. He enjoys rock climbing at Threshold and attending art camp at Edmond Fine Arts Institute. A seasoned traveler, Rex has been to 15 states and Canada. By his own rule, he will try any food at least once, with his favorites being broccoli, apples, fish and mac and cheese. Rex is the son of Kay, and together their family has fostered four children after being inspired by a MetroFamily series on the need for foster families in our state. Rex and Kay’s favorite place to visit in OKC is Scissortail Park.

− ANNOUNCING METROFAMILY’S − 2023 Cover Kid Winners! Congratulations to MetroFamily’s 2023 Cover Kids!

Ages 10-12: Cherryse

A fifth grader at Classen School of Advanced Studies, Cherryse has been a world champion martial artist since age 5 and is a junior Olympian in high jump and triathlon. She enjoys singing, coding, making bracelets, swimming, acting, playing basketball and going camping with Girl Scouts. Cherryse volunteers at the food bank and at the NE Community Center, loves taking classes in fine arts and cooking through Boys and Girls Club and is actively involved in her church. She has danced in OKC Ballet’s The Nutcracker for the past two years. Cherryse is the daughter of Lauren, and their favorite place to visit in OKC is Scissortail Park.

Siblings: Carter, Blakely & Falyn

Fifth grade twins Carter and Blakely and first grade younger sister Falyn are an energetic sibling trio who love playing board games, beating their parents in spades and spreading kindness. Carter enjoys playing baseball, swimming, climbing, camping, playing video games and conquering Ninja Warrior obstacles. Blakely loves dancing, swimming competitively, singing, performing, crafting, writing and eating sushi. Falyn enjoys tumbling, dancing, swimming, reading and exploring. They are the children of Deidre and Evan, and together their family enjoys adventuring at RIVERSPORT OKC and eating at Taco Nation.

Watch for MetroFamily’s 2024 Cover Kids Search beginning in early August.

7638 N. Western, OKC • 405-848-1415 @learningtree.okc • learning tree get yours at METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023 13 COVER KIDS



One of the best aspects of being in a relationship is having a built-in travel buddy to explore this beautiful world. Traveling together presents opportunities to share awefilled moments or to learn something new about each other. It’s easy for many couples to neglect setting aside this valuable time, even for a quick getaway. Work and childcare responsibilities can be hard to put on hold, and, sometimes, it’s just overwhelming to know where to start in planning a new adventure.

Fortunately, Oklahoma City offers a growing list of direct flights across the United States; plus, there are lots of drivable destinations both in and out of state. Whether you’re looking for a chance to fully unwind, explore a new dining scene or tackle some fun recreation in the great outdoors, here are three great locations you and your partner – or friends – should consider for your next escape!

Adventure in the great outdoors with a hike to Naambe Lake near Santa Fe.


Casino and Resort


Couples craving a break from the daily grind can treat themselves to an all-inclusive experience at the newly renovated Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant, just two and a half hours southeast of the OKC metro. In 2021, a $600 million expansion project was completed, offering guests a gorgeous 3-acre pool complex with cabanas and pool-side bars, 1,000 luxurious guest rooms, an expanded gaming floor and new dining venues. This exquisite facility also features a Native American art walk showcasing 58 pieces by Choctaw artists, each with a QR code so guests can enjoy their own self-guided tour.

Spend your day relaxing at Aqua, the resort’s tropical oasis where towering palm trees surround opulent pools, including a family-friendly option complete with waterslides and an exclusive, adults-only pool with swimup bar. Rent a cabana, lounge around a fire pit or enjoy the hot tub adjacent to the pool. Afterward, get fully pampered at The Spa with a massage treatment or simply bask peacefully in a steam room or one of the whirlpool tubs in the couple’s suites.

To elevate your stay, the resort conveniently offers two Starbucks locations, several cocktail lounges and on-site restaurants, like 1832 Steakhouse, which rewards guests with an exceptional fine-dining experience. Try your hand at one of the 7,000 slot machines or 40 new table games, many of which are in non-smoking areas.

Stay Here

Relax by the Aqua pool oasis at Choctaw Casino and Resort.

If you’d rather not test your luck, catch a movie at the resort’s cinema where they have six screens featuring blockbuster and first-run films. Many weekends also offer incredible lineups of live performances by musical artists and comedians, so check their online calendar in advance to purchase tickets.


Santa Fe


If you and your partner are looking to road trip out of state, venture west to the nation’s oldest capital, just a seven-and-a-half-hour drive from Oklahoma City. Santa Fe rests in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and is beloved for its beautiful mixture of art, history and some of the most vibrant food in the country.

One of the best ways to experience this foodie odyssey is through a walking tour. Consider booking the New Mexican Flavors Tour of Santa Fe Plaza to sample food and drink pairings while also sightseeing landmarks like the San Miguel Chapel, the oldest Catholic Church in the United States. Visitors can also learn how to make classic New Mexican foods by taking a cooking class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking

For breakfast, don’t miss a trip to The Pantry for their legendary breakfast burrito. Tomasita’s is another popular restaurant that consistently delivers excellent New Mexican cuisine, including stuffed sopapillas and their renowned margaritas. End your day at Geronimo, a picturesque adobe-style restaurant built in 1756, known for their sophisticated “global eclectic” cuisine and highly refined service.

Galleries and museums dominate the Santa Fe map and Canyon Road is the perfect place to kick off your art tour with more than 100 art galleries, boutiques and restaurants to explore. Visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to discover the inspiring works this artist contributed to the world of modern art in the 20th century.

For a more interactive art adventure, make your way to Meow Wolf, the original immersive art museum, which inspired OKC’s Factory Obscura. Guests of all ages will enjoy the mind-bending elements of this one-of-a-kind museum, inspiring both creativity and play. Then, for a quiet respite in downtown Santa Fe, take a stroll through the tranquil sculpture garden of Nedra Matteucci Galleries to admire the stone and bronze sculptures. Santa Fe is also an outdoor adventure hub, given its proximity to the Pecos Wilderness and Santa Fe National Forest. The Winsor Trail to Nambe Lake is a beautiful, shady trek through the Sangre de Cristo subrange, leading to a gorgeous alpine lake. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden, near downtown Santa Fe, features walking paths through an orchard and lush gardens of roses, lavender and native plants. Mountain bikers and hikers also enjoy the Dale Ball Trail system, a 25-mile network of natural trails offering a quick escape to the neighboring mountains.

Just an hour outside of Santa Fe, visit Bandelier National Monument, where 11,000-year-old petroglyphs and historic cliff dwellings reside among the surrounding canyons. Wooden ladders along the main Pueblo Loop Trail provide access to these unique archeological sites.

After a busy day of adventuring, experience the transcendent power of water in one of Santa Fe’s soothing pools, springs or spas. Ojo Santa Fe Spa Resort is located just outside of town and offers guests daily access to spring-fed thermal pools, a seasonal saltwater pool and restorative spa treatments, so you can end your trip fully rejuvenated.

Travel Near

The San Miguel Chapel in Santa Fe is the oldest Catholic church in the United States.
Visit the galleries and shops along Canyon Road.

Integrated Brain Health



The country music capital of the world is just a direct flight away from Oklahoma City, ready to welcome you with its epic live music scene, delicious hot chicken and, of course, Southern hospitality.

Music is the common thread connecting the soul of Nashville with its people, so a perfect starting point for your trip is the Ryman Auditorium, nicknamed the “Carnegie Hall of the South.” Choose from a self-guided tour or the VIP experience, which includes backstage access to this iconic venue boasting 130 years of legendary performances.

The Grand Ole Opry put down roots at the Ryman in 1943, broadcasting the voices of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and the like into homes across the country. Thirty years later, the Opry moved to its current 4,440-seat Grand Ole Opry House, where you can take a tour and experience live performances today.

Continue your ultimate Music City experience with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame to learn about the evolution of this industry and view priceless artifacts, such as instruments and stage wear donned by your favorite musicians. Just across the street from the museum is the Music City Walk of Fame, a tribute to the artists who have contributed to all genres of music.

Nashville is, undoubtedly, a culinary destination known for its incredible BBQ and hot chicken, but if you limit your tastebuds to these dishes, you’ll be missing out on the breadth and depth of other creative, noteworthy restaurants. Treat yourselves to brunch at Henrietta Red, a contemporary

Go Far

American restaurant focusing on vegetableforward dishes, a wide variety of oysters and craft cocktails. Food is meant for sharing, and Butcher & Bee draws people far and wide to experience their inventive, Mediterranean family-style plates. Start with the baconwrapped dates and whipped feta before moving on to their avocado crispy rice and roasted chicken, all enjoyed on a secluded back patio.

When you do pick up some local hot chicken, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is always a crowd favorite offering six levels of heat and delicious sides to accompany your meal. If BBQ is what you’re after, Edley’s Bar-BQue takes great pride in smoking their meats low and slow and making their sides from scratch daily. They strive to make all their patrons feel like family with memorable meals and unparalleled service.

Plan time for relaxation at Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery, a beautiful Greek Revival Mansion on a private estate. Take a historic tour to learn about the families who lived here, followed by a complimentary wine tasting.

Beyond making memories, navigating your way around the world is great for building communication and connection, even if unexpected challenges arise during your trip. The highs and lows of traveling as a couple can deepen the bond shared with your other half and may even inspire new habits to positively change your day-today routines once you return home. Happy travels!

Often behind behavioral and emotional issues are undiagnosed learning disabilities, developmental, and neurological conditions .

Using evidence-based diagnostic and assessment tools, we gather meaningful information about all areas of development, we will help determine the "why" behind the behaviors.

We have highly trained multi-disciplinary intake and assessment clinicians that look across multiple areas of developmental, emotional, and neurological functioning to determine best treatment options.

Call us at (405) 702-9032 or visit our website at

We accept most major insurances!

Occupational Therapy

Applied Behavior Analysis, ABA Individual and Family Therapy

3838 NW 36th St, STE 200, OKC 73112


The IBH Di erence! At IBH, we start with the "why?"
Take a tour and enjoy a glass of wine at the Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery.


FEB. 10-12

OKC Ballet presents Cinderella at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features three enchanted performances by OKC Ballet with OKCPHIL playing Prokofiev’s score live. $30 & up. Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm.


Things to Do in January & February

JAN. 6-8

Eagle Watch at Arcadia Lake (9000 E 2nd St, Edmond). See majestic eagles in their natural habitat. Begin at the Arcadia Lake Park office for information about where the eagles can be found and check out the raptor wingspan display, videos and more. Dress warmly and bring binoculars. $3 per vehicle. 8am-4pm.

JAN. 7

Incredible Ice at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features experiments and crafts to learn about ice and the ways it behaves. Preregister. Best suited for ages 7-12. Member, $7; nonmember, $10. 10-11:30am.

Kids Take Over the Cowboy (1700 NE 63rd St) features themed, hands-on activities for kids to explore the history of the American West. January’s event is all about outlaws and lawmen. Activities are free with admission while supplies last. 10am-noon. Also held: Feb. 4 – Boley Rodeo

FREE Hooked on Fishing Lessons at Route 66 Park (9901 NW 23rd St). Kids ages 5-15 will be taught basic fishing skills including casting and knot tying with hands-on instruction and fishing time. Rods, reels and bait provided. Preregister. 1-3pm. Also held: Jan. 28 & Feb. 25 – Edwards Park; Feb. 11 – Route 66 Park

FREE New Year’s Stickball Game at the First Americans Museum (659 First Americans Blvd) features a tournamentstyle stickball game. Spectators are encouraged to cheer from the sidelines and take part in a handson demonstration. 1-4pm.

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate! at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Learn all about the chocolate tree, and hunt for one growing in the conservatory. Preregister. Best suited for ages 6-10. Member, $12; nonmember, $15. 1-2pm.

Teen Yoga Retreat at Bikram Yoga (210 S Ellison Ave) features a monthly two-hour yoga class taught by Heather Geis Lensgraf, RYT-500. Learn yoga poses, breathing techniques, meditation, self-awareness and relaxation skills that combat the stressors teens face. $20; scholarships available. 2-4pm.

JAN. 8

FREE LIVE! on the Plaza in the Plaza District (1700 block NW 16th St) features local artists, live music, special events, local shopping and more. Noon-4pm.



International Finals Rodeo at Lazy E Arena (9600 Lazy E Dr, Guthrie) features four days of professional rodeo action as cowboys and cowgirls compete for the title of World Champion in eight events. $20 & up. See website for schedule.

JAN. 13-15

Oklahoma Bead & Jewelry Show at State Fair Park Oklahoma Expo Hall (3213 Wichita Walk) features fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, beads, beading supplies, pearls, silver, designer cabochons, minerals and tools. $5. Friday & Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, 10am-4 pm.

JAN. 14

FREE See You Saturdays at Oklahoma Hall of Fame (1400 Classen Dr) features complimentary admission, crafts, games and more. Guests can take part in a sensoryfriendly experience from 9-10am. All ages welcome. 9am-2pm.

AT&T Sundays at First Americans Museum (659 First Americans Blvd). Kids ages 4-12 receive free admission to the museum galleries on the third Sunday of the month. 11am-5pm. Also held: Feb. 19.


JAN. 16

FREE Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration (various locations) features a silent march, bell ringing, parade and job fair. 9am-3pm.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a variety of family-friendly activities that honor Dr. King’s historic message including live performances, read-alouds, crafts and more. Free to attend. 10am-1pm.

JAN. 21

Lunar New Year at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features face painting, music, cultural presentations, crafts for kids and performances from Lion Dancers. Free to attend. 11am-2pm.

JAN. 27

Late Night at the Museum: Fun with Forensics at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features an evening about forensic techniques. Learn about fingerprinting and impression casting, then go on a flashlight tour, play a real-life game of Clue and watch a movie. Preregister; adult must accompany children. Best suited for ages 7 & up. $30-$35. 6:30-11pm.

Norman Philharmonic’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at McFarlin

Memorial United Methodist Church (419 S University Blvd, Norman) features a special performance to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Adults, $15; kids (16 & under), $7. 7:30pm.


JAN. 27 & 28

OKCPHIL presents Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features four vocalists performing with a full orchestra along with clips and images from original Disney movies. $27 & up. 8pm.

JAN. 28

Every Color Soup at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Explore the gardens’ raised bed growing every color of vegetables and learn all about a rainbow of healthy eating. Preregister. All ages welcome. Member, $8; nonmember, $12. 1-2pm.

Yukon Daddy Daughter Dance at Dale Robertson Center (1200 Lakeshore Dr, Yukon) features a local DJ, dancing and light refreshments. $10 in advance; $12.50 day of. 3-4:30pm, 5-6:30pm & 7-8:30pm.

Black History Month

FEB. 1-28

Heritage Activity Table: Black History at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St). Learn about different perspectives of Black history in the West including Buffalo soldiers and make a trumpet of your own (while supplies last). Free with admission. See website for museum hours.

FEB. 4

Kids Take Over the Cowboy (1700 NE 63rd St) features themed, hands-on activities for kids to explore the history of the American West. February’s event is all about Boley, Okla. – one of the first historic Black towns in the West. 10amnoon.

FEB. 16-MARCH 11

Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn at Lyric’s Plaza Theatre (1727 NW 16th St) features an hour-long version of Mark Twain’s novel that expands the role of Jim. Twain’s classic sweeps audiences down the mighty Mississippi as the irrepressible Huck Finn helps his friend Jim, an enslaved teen, escape to freedom. $20 & up. See website for show times.

JAN. 29-FEB. 2

Rhea Lana’s of Edmond Spring Consignment Event at Meinders Conference Center (2501 E Memorial Rd) features highquality, gently used items including clothing (sizes infant-teen & maternity), shoes, baby equipment, furniture, toys, nursery décor, books and more. Free to attend. See website for hours.

FEB. 2

Groundhog Day Celebration at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Participants will use a flower’s shadow as a guide to make a colorful canvas painting. Then learn about the changing seasons and spy an “almost real” groundhog hiding in the Children’s Garden. Preregister. Best suited for ages 3-5. Member, $8; nonmember, $10. 10-11am.

FEB. 4

Norman Daddy Daughter Dance at Embassy Suites (2501 Conference Dr, Norman) features a fun evening for girls and their fathers or father figures with dancing, music and refreshments. All ages welcome. Tickets are time specific and attendance is limited. $15; $20 day of. 2-3:30pm; 4:30-6pm & 7-8:30pm.

FEB. 5

Discovery Family Series Concert –Superphilharmonic at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a onehour, family-friendly concert by OKCPHIL. Dress as your favorite superhero and join in on a quest for truth, justice and musical play, plus take part in pre-concert activities such as the Instrument Playground. Best suited for ages 4-13. $9. 2pm; preconcert activities, 1pm.

FEB. 28

Step Afrika! at OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center (7777 S May Ave) features the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. The show blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, traditional African dances and an array of contemporary dance and art forms into a cohesive, compelling artistic experience. $29 & up. 7:30pm.


FEB. 9-12

Cirque du Soleil: Corteo at Paycom Center (100 W Reno Ave) features a theatrical performance with an engaging carnival atmosphere. ‘Corteo’ is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. $39 & up. Thursday & Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 3:30 & 7:30pm; Sunday, 1pm.

FEB. 10-12

Cinderella at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features three enchanted performances by OKC Ballet with OKCPHIL playing Prokofiev’s score live. $30 & up. Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm.

FEB. 10

FREE Night to Shine Prom with Putnam City Baptist Church (11401 N Rockwell Ave) features a red-carpet entrance complete with limousine rides, professional photography, nails and makeup stations, Chick-fil-A, dancing and karaoke, plus an evening of dancing and photo opportunities with popular

characters and local celebrities. Preregister. For teens and adults with special needs ages 14 & up. 6-9pm.

FEB. 11

Love Bugs: Valentine’s Day Fun at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Create a love bug themed rock garden and learn about bugs as you work. Preregister. Best suited for ages 3-6. 10-11am.

FEB. 11-18

Just Between Friends Consignment Sale at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds (615 E Robinson St, Norman) features new and gently used children’s clothes, toys, furniture and accessories. Saturday presale, $10-$20; Sunday, $5; no admission charged for other days. See website for hours.

FEB. 19

Extra Life 1UP Open at OCU Esports Starcade (2501 N Blackwelder Ave) features three Esports tournaments. Titles include Super Smash Ultimate,

Rocket League and HALO Infinite. Benefits Extra Life, a Children’s Miracle Network program. $25; observers, $15. 10am-11pm.

FEB. 22-MARCH 10

The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats at Oklahoma Children’s Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder Ave). Watch as young Peter explores the magic and wonder of a lovely snowfall, as seen through the eyes of a child. Best suited for ages 5 & up. Adults, $11; kids (2-12), $9. See website for show times.

FEB. 24-26

Friends of the Metropolitan Library System Annual Book Sale at State Fair Park Oklahoma Expo Hall (3212 Wichita Walk) features more than 700,000 books from a variety of genres, plus audiobooks, CDs, Blue-Ray discs, software and more. Free to attend. 9am-5:30pm.

Find a searchable list of local events at metrofamilymagazine. com/calendar.




Closing soon


FREE La casa que nos inventamos: Contemporary Art from Guadalajara at Oklahoma Contemporary (11 NW 11th St) features nearly 40 conceptual artworks — paintings, sculptures and performances — created within the last decade by nearly two dozen visual artists from or living in Guadalajara. Wednesday-Monday, 11am-6pm; Thursday, until 9pm.


Highlights from the Rose Family Glass Collection at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features a showcase of the Studio Glass movement that originated in America in the 1950s and continues to present day. Adults, $14.95; kids (17 & under), free. WednesdaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am9pm; Sunday, noon-5pm.


Sahara Sea Monsters at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman). See 600 million years of the Moroccan fossil record and the monstrous residents of the old Sahara – the mighty Spinosaurus, Mosasaurus and more. Adults, $10; kids (4-17), $6; kids (3 & under), free. Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm.


Looking Through the Windows to the West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features never-before-exhibited preparatory materials by artist Wilson Hurley, well known for creating five enormous triptychs that depict the grandeur of the American western landscape. Adults, $15; students, $10; kids (6-12), $5; kids (5 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm.

Opening soon

FEB. 2-MAY 22

FREE The Art of Food at Oklahoma Contemporary (11 NW 11th St) features more than 100 artworks from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, highlighting the subject of food by 37 well-known contemporary artists, including John Baldessari, Jenny Holzer, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Lorna Simpson. Wednesday-Monday, 11am-6pm; Thursday, until 9pm.

FEB. 10-MAY 7

Playing Cowboy at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features books, games and toys centered around the West. Adults, $15; students, $10; kids, (6-12), $5; kids (5 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm.

One Hundred Years of Revolution: French Art from 1850 to 1950 at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) explores the radical changes in French art over a span of 100 years. Adults, $14.95; kids (17 & under), free. WednesdaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am9pm; Sunday, noon-5pm.

FEB. 18-MAY 14

Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson

Picturing Justice at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features a collection of more than 1,000 works by Johnson of Black activists, scientists, teachers and performers as well as international heads of state working to bring peace to the world. Adults, $14.95; kids (17 & under), free. Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, noon-5pm.

Art and Activism at Tougaloo College at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features works of art from the collection of Tougaloo College, a historically Black college in Mississippi that played a central role in the Civil Rights Movement and the fight for racial equality. Adults, $14.95; kids (17 & under), free. WednesdaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am9pm; Sunday, noon-5pm.


FREE Trains in Oklahoma & Edmond at Edmond History Museum (431 S Boulevard, Edmond) features photographs of the early Edmond Station, as well as later train stations, trains and the Interurban Streetcar, plus a number of railroad lines that passed through Oklahoma. Tuesday-Friday, 10am5pm; Saturday, 1-4pm.

care and kindness when it matters most. Ronald McDonald House Charities® Oklahoma City Learn more at 405-231-4335 | 9217 NW Expressway, OKC K9 University Boarding School Call 405-231-4335 for an appointment to evaluate your dog and your needs accurately. Certified Professional Trainers make it easy! We create a customized training plan for your dog, based on the proper assessment of the problem. NEW! Opening in January! The Ballet and Movement Arts Center of Moore Creating community through the transformative power of dance. Ballet and creative movement for students ages two through adults. Classes held at Adelante Studios, 201 N. Broadway, Suite 201 in Moore Register for January classes 646-638-4378 BalletandMovementArts ABT® CERTIFIED TEACHER IN PRE-PRIMARY THROUGH LEVEL 7 OF THE ABT® NATIONAL TRAINING CURRICULUM. EXCLUSIVE TO OKLAHOMA CITY! Dale Chihuly Merletto Basket Set 2019, Blown glass, 12 x 28 x 22''. © 2022 Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved. Now Open Visit for updates. OKCMOA.COM METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023 23

Date Night Ideas

JAN. 13-15

The Book of Mormon at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a musical comedy that follows the adventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. $41 & up. Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm; Sunday, 1:30 & 7pm.

JAN. 27

Music of the Knights at OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center (7777 S May Ave) features a celebration of three of Britain’s most legendary songwriters: Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney. $29 & up. 8pm.

FEB. 2-3

On Your Feet! at the McKnight Center (705 W University Ave, Stillwater) features the inspiring true story about international sensations Gloria and Emilio Estefan. $27 & up. 7:30pm.

FEB. 14

Trace Adkins at the McKnight Center (705 W University Ave, Stillwater) features a special Valentine’s Day concert of his “The Way I Wanna Go” tour. $45 & up. 7:30pm.

FEB. 14-19

Jesus Christ Superstar at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features the 50th anniversary tour of the iconic musical about an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks of the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. $30 & up. Tuesday, 8pm; Wednesday & Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm; Sunday, 1:30 & 7pm.

FEB. 15

Dublin Irish Dance at Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Bryant Ave, Edmond) features a brand-new Celtic dance production by Irish and World champion dancers together with Ireland’s finest musical and vocal virtuosos. $45 & up. 7:30pm.

Horse Camp! Spring eak

FEB. 17

Clue! at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St). Relive your childhood by playing the popular board game Clue, IRL, in the re-created 19th-century frontier town. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar while solving this Western whodunit. For ages 21 & up. $30$35. 7-9pm.

FEB. 24-25

An Evening with Kelli O’Hara at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a performance by the Oklahoma native with OKCPHIL including an 80th anniversary tribute to Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! $27 & up. 8pm.

FEB. 28

Lviv National Philharmonic of Ukraine at Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Bryant Ave, Edmond) features the illustrious orchestra and pianist Oksana Rapita under the direction of Theodore Kuchar, the most recorded conductor of his generation. $45 & up. 7:30pm.

March 13-17 Mon-Fri, 9am-Noon $350 Ages 6 & Up No experience necessary Weekly camps ALL summer! Summer Camps June through August Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm $525/per week Also enrolling new students for riding lessons! No experience necessary. Ages 5 & Up Register at: (405) 348-7469 24 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023

OKC Thrive Fest

March 25 at RIVERSPORT


El Reno Burger Day May 6 in downtown El Reno

Festival of the Child May 6 at Yukon’s City Park

OKC Pride Festival

June 2-4 at Scissortail Park

Oklahoma State Fair

Sept. 14-24 at State Fair Park

Down Syndrome Festival September 2023 at Myriad Gardens

Chisholm Trail Festival Oct. 14 at Mollie Spencer Farm

Geekapalooza Nov. 4 at Camp Trivera

March 31-April 2 at Reaves Park

Festival of the Arts

April 25-30 at Bicentennial Park

Norman Music Festival

April 27-29 in downtown Norman

oNE OKC Street Festival

May 5-7 at Washington Park and other locations

May 27-28 at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Paseo Arts Festival May 27-29 in Paseo Arts District

Red Earth Festival June 1-3 at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

deadCenter Film Festival

June 8-11 at various locations

Children’s Garden Festival June 2023 at Myriad Gardens

Firelake Fireflight Balloon Fest Aug. 11-12 in Shawnee

SIGN UP for January Classes
(405)721 - 8807 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023 25
You’ve never had a gaming experience like this. BIRTHDAY PARTIES // TOURNAMENTS // OPEN PLAY COOPGAMINGARENA.COM // 405-974-2757
2023 #okcfamilyfun Bucket List
Save the date for these annual
Is your new year resolution to have more #OKCFAMILYFUN? Subscribe to our award-winning e-newsletter and you'll receive the best in family fun and resources every weekday! Easy!
Each Primrose school is a privately owned and operated franchise.Primrose Schools and Balanced Learning are registered trademarks of Primrose School Franchising SPE, LLC. ©2022 Primrose School Franchising SPE, LLC. All rights reserved. Primrose School of Southwest Oklahoma City 1520 SW 119TH | Oklahoma City, OK 73170 405.793.6000 | Primrose School of Edmond 15000 North Western Ave. | Edmond, OK 73013 405.285.6787 | To enroll your child or join our team, contact us today. A place of love, laughter and learning. At Primrose®, our top priority is creating a positive and safe environment for every child, teacher and staff member. Our classrooms combine smaller student-teacher ratios with our Balanced Learning® approach to help every child flourish through purposeful play and nurturing guidance.


What will education look like for our children in 2023 and beyond?

Teachers, administrators and support staff, as well as students and parents, have experienced what seem like endless changes to our education systems in the past several years. Through it all, local parents continue to hold one priority dear: seeking the best educational opportunities for our children.

The silver lining throughout the uncertainty and challenges we have undergone have been Oklahoma City’s exceptional educators, incredible schools and unique enrichment opportunities, all of which deserve our community’s continued support and praise.

In our 2023 Education Guide, learn more about all the schools, field trips and academic opportunities available to families in the metro. Gain understanding about neurodiverse learners and how to help kids achieve school-life balance. Plus, meet a local teacher who has dedicated his career to teaching students nonviolent strategies, and learn about conservation through local museums and attractions.

We hope you find the perfect schooling situation and educational opportunities for your child here. And please join us in making it a priority to thank the teachers in your life this year!


Brain Power Assessing and harnessing


Leesa Lacey considers her profession personal. Founder and CEO of Integrated Brain Health, Lacey’s path to helping children and their families better understand how their brains work began with a brain injury of her own. Afterward, she obtained a graduate degree and became a licensed professional counselor.

At the age of 40, Lacey discovered she had attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. Her then-20-year-old daughter, who had been struggling for years, also received an ADHD diagnosis. Lacey began reflecting on all the things she wished she’d done differently for her daughter and realized she wanted to dedicate her career to keeping other parents from experiencing the same regrets.

Evaluating overall brain health

According to Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), ADHD is prevalent in about 7 percent of children ages 18 and younger. Lacey specializes in evaluating and treating ADHD, but the scope of IBH’s work extends beyond ADHD to provide a comprehensive approach to improving brain health.

When Lacey started her company 12 years ago as a counseling agency under a different name, she realized many children had contributing factors that needed addressing, but there were disconnects between the different providers treating these children.

“Unfortunately, professionals have a tendency to stay in their lanes,” said Lacey. “But when it comes to the brain, there is no one lane. If we want to really understand what’s going on and help our clients, we have to be able to look across multiple domains of the brain.”

Lacey pivoted the company from counseling to a more holistic approach addressing children’s brain health and renamed the organization Integrated Brain Health. Assessment for clients begins with the Integrated Brain Health Multidimensional Assessment Tool, a process IBH refined that helps identify the spectrum of factors impacting the brain’s health. With this tool, Lacey and her team gain a holistic understanding of their clients’ brains, and they can treat them more effectively with customized, integrated plans.

“When we tell parents about our Assessment Tool, the buy-in is usually instantaneous,” Lacey said. “They’ve been bounced around to different providers for years in some cases, without seeing any real improvement. They are frustrated because they don’t have answers and they’ve tried everything they know to do. They feel alone.”

The Assessment Tool evaluates not just the behaviors that led to a referral to IBH but also other environmental factors and experiences to help understand the “why” behind the child’s behavior. It can also help identify additional neurodiverse factors.

For example, in children ages 2 to 17 diagnosed with ADHD, 63.8 percent had at least one co-occurring condition, according to CHADD. A little more than half of all children had behavioral or conduct problems, 32.7 percent had anxiety, 16.8 percent showed signs of depression and 13.7 percent showed autism spectrum disorders.

“Every child is unique,” Lacey said. “Some may have memory issues. Some may have sensory issues. Some may [have] auditory processing issues. We have to look at exactly how and what all is impacting that child’s brain in order to treat them effectively.”

In some cases, the team at IBH works with families whose children have been incorrectly diagnosed and have navigated years of frustration.

Laurie Patterson’s teenage daughter was previously diagnosed with ADHD, but the Assessment Tool determined she did not have ADHD. Instead, she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, performance anxiety and depression.

In addition to providing the Patterson family with an accurate diagnosis for their daughter and effective tools to support her, IBH helped them assess and improve their communication with each other.

“She helped my husband and I have both perspective and hope,” said Patterson of working with Lacey. “IBH goes well beyond traditional therapy [to] look at nutrition, exercise, screen time, sleep hygiene and family dynamics.”


Moving forward

With the 18-page, 250-question Assessment Tool, IBH can provide recommendations for evidence-based treatments and can bridge the gap between standard psychotherapy intake assessments and often more expensive fullpsychological assessments. The team at IBH can then implement treatment plans in-house to reduce the need for families to bounce from specialist to specialist.

Supplementing medication received from medical providers, IBH develops treatment plans that address a variety of everyday factors that can make a difference for neurodiverse children, including exercise, motor function, language skills, sleep hygiene, extracurricular activities, technology habits and nutrition.

“Treatment for ADHD requires more than medication alone,” Lacey said. “Medication is like one leg of a six-legged table. In psychoeducation with the parents, the most important thing is that parents gain an understanding of how to best support their child and implement necessary changes in their daily lives.” That parental education was as vital to Molli Grove as the treatment her son received through IBH.

“To say he was on a collision course with life and the law is an understatement,” said Grove of her son, who was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. “He could not control his impulsivity or his compulsions. I did not have any idea how to support him.”

From the team at IBH, Grove learned the importance of nutrition, sleep and monitoring her son’s screen time. Grove also appreciated the holistic support her family received during her son’s IEP meetings, with the hospital intake team when her son became suicidal and with her son’s psychiatrist to ensure his needs were met.

“My son is a different person,” said Grove of his transformation. “He is med free today, thriving, preparing for his next chapter.”

The power of neurodiversity

When encouraging a child to understand how their own brain works, Lacey uses a variety of tools, including interacting with a physical model of a brain or examining a poster depicting a green fish swimming among a school of goldfish.

“I tell them, ‘I’m just like you,’” Lacey said. “‘We’re green fish. We can swim around with the goldfish, but we’re different. We’re super cool, super smart, but no one understands how we work.’ It gives the child permission to be proud of how unique they are.”

In addition to giving kids confidence, Lacey also sees parents develop a sense of relief after understanding the underlying causes and seeing a path to improving their children’s brain health.

Even if the Assessment Tool does not reveal a specific diagnosis, it may help identify other neurodiverse factors that could be addressed.

IBH is working to make the Diagnostic Assessment Tool available across the country so parents anywhere can access it to coordinate with their local providers in getting the most effective treatment for their child.

“Having the results of this assessment gives parents peace of mind and empowers them with a way forward for their child,” said Lacey.

For more information, visit or call 405-702-9032.


Trinity School at Edgemere

Trinity educates children with learning differences such as autism, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. The K-12 school also serves students with auditory and sensory processing issues, anxiety and developmental or intellectual delays. Trinity is the only school in the Oklahoma City area dedicated to educating students with diagnosed learning differences.

Their staff includes a Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in psychoeducational testing and a Licensed School Psychometrist. These experts allow Trinity to track standardized testing results and data from formative assessments, inform instruction and guide individualized learning plans. In addition, Trinity’s staff experts work with classroom instructors and division heads to develop programs for students of all ages to determine how best to help them succeed academically.

At Trinity, spiritual development is just as important as academic rigor. Trinity has a full-time chaplain who holds weekly chapel and religious education classes. In addition, Trinity students participate in service projects each year, learning to serve God and others.

Trinity recognizes that a child’s social development is vitally important. Therefore, the school requires weekly classes to help students improve self-advocacy and social skills. Furthermore, Trinity aims to help students address learning and executive function differences due to neurodiversity. Trinity also offers activities, sports and clubs, making school a fun place to be.

Because each learner is unique, Trinity designs programs and instruction utilizing the latest assistive technology and evidence-based teaching methods. Unlike many schools, accommodations/modifications are delivered directly in the classroom. The unique K-12 program and small class sizes allow Trinity to use multiple methods to improve students’ experiences and outcomes.

Trinity is so much more than a school — it’s a community centered around inclusion, celebrating differences and being met where you are. The loving, Christ-centered, student-focused environment allows students to thrive and be a part of something greater than themselves. The whole child growth development model ensures that every student is set up for success and allowed to ‘fail forward’ without hurting their confidence. For our family, it has been the very best decision and investment we’ve made for our children’s futures!

Lucia Frohling, lower school parent

Educating students with learning differences, each according to their specific needs 3200 N Walker Ave, OKC 405-525-5600


Dove Schools

Five Campuses in OKC, Three Campuses in Tulsa and One State-Wide Virtual Campus


Empowering the future innovators

Dove Science Academy. They have not only grown academically but behaviorally and socially as well. I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for my kids and my family.

D.S., parent

Five Campuses in OKC, Three Campuses in Tulsa and One State-Wide Virtual Campus 405-605-0201

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Jordan loves iCode. Not only does he learn computer skills, including basic coding and robotics, he is learning concepts in math and physics while having fun. It’s a win-win!

2217 NW 178th St, STE B, Edmond

I just wanted to say thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for letting my students come visit your beautiful museum. We had a fantastic time and we felt so welcome by your staff. We really felt like you went the extra mile to make our students feel comfortable and included. I hope that more facilities will follow your lead and make their services more inclusive for students on the autism spectrum. We really appreciate your time and effort so much. Thank you again!

Timber Hatfield, special education teacher

1700 NE 63rd St, OKC (405) 478-2250

innovative leaders for the 21st century? That is the vision of Odyssey Leadership Academy, an award winning, internationally recognized "School of Genius" school serving grades 6-12 that encourages students to pursue their passions and change the world!

Sign up for a shadow tour today and experience the OLA difference.


Westminster School

Inspiring students to work hard, be curious, respect others and be resilient

Westminster is an informal, child-centered school where children and teachers know each other well and respect each other as individuals. The school serves students in grades PreK(3)-8th and offers an educational experience in which questions are encouraged, creativity and curiosity are nurtured and academic skills are developed.

Westminster students are inspired to try new things, celebrate their successes and value the lessons learned when they are not successful. All students are encouraged and supported continually. Teachers create an environment in which students have the freedom to make decisions and learn to take responsibility for their decisions. The school believes strongly in the importance of a tolerant and diverse educational community and recognizes that the educational success of its students requires the trust and support of parents, students and teachers together.

Erna Krouch Preschool

Oldest continuously-operating preschool in OKC

600 NW 44th St, OKC 405-524-0631

Harn Homestead

Book a field trip and e

Erna Krouch Preschool is the most wonderful place to send your children. Our kids have learned so much from the fantastic teachers and staff and have been excited to attend every single school day! Erna Krouch has been our best school decision and we highly recommend this school to all parents!

Harn Homestead is part of the fabric of our state’s history and who we are, and I think it’s important for children to grow up knowing that. It’s definitely a field trip that reaches the heart.

Denise Fowler, Clegern Elementary

Erna Krouch

The Hansen Family


4901 N Pennsylvania Ave, OKC 405-848-5926


Quail Springs United Methodist Church

Keystone Adventure School and Farm is an accredited school for children from 3 years old through 5th grade. A unique school, Keystone focuses on individualized education of their students and boasts a 15-acre campus with farm animals, creek, pond and ample play spaces for students.

Keystone’s faculty members know all children will successfully love to learn when they are treated with respect and kindness. Children are loved, and they love in return. Unlike most schools, Keystone’s curriculum is not driven by standardized tests; instead, it is driven by the individual learner’s readiness to learn new concepts. Keystone kids are kind, capable learners and are eager to grow emotionally, socially and academically.

The school also offers an incredibly popular outdoor/indoor summer program called Summer on the Farm. This summer Keystone will offer a 4-year-old summer program in addition to their typical summer camp, which serves rising kindergartners through graduating 5th graders.

Childhood Program has been one of the greatest choices we have made for our children. We have noticed our oldest is ahead of most kids her age who aren’t in school yet, especially with her social skills. She adores her teachers and I have been blown away by their education and knowledge as they teach my children.

Kandyce and Jermelle Cudjo, parents 14617 N Pennsylvania Ave, OKC 405-755-3258

Keystone Adventure School and Farm Unique, individualized school helping nurture capable, kind, engaged students SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023 33 EDUCATION GUIDE Nature-based School Currently enrolling ages 4-8! Back to Earth | (405) 520-0553 | 4221 N Walnut Ave, OKC Where Wonder Lives

Harding Fine Arts Academy

Award-winning public charter school focused on STEAM and fine arts

Harding Fine Arts Academy is a diverse, arts-integrated public charter school. Enrollment is tuition-free through a lottery system with no entrance requirements or auditions. The Academy offers an emphasis in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) curriculum and a robust list of fine arts courses. It also provides standard academic courses (including several AP) in math, English, science, social studies and foreign language.

The Academy boasts many awards for its arts-integrated curriculum including “Top 10 Oklahoma Public High Schools” by U.S. News & World Report for 10 consecutive years, National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, Governor’s Art Awards for Arts Education, numerous State Superintendent Awards for the Arts, 2019 Charter School of the Year and many more. Interested families can complete an online application ( or contact Bronda Williams, recruitment and community outreach coordinator, at 405-702-4322 for more information.

Harding Fine Arts is the best educational experience for those looking for qualified, committed, dedicated and experienced educators and staff. The balance of quality core curriculum with the excellent selection of art-based electives equals a top-notch foundation . . . An A++ in my grade book.

Yvonne Hughes, parent

3333 N Shartel Ave, OKC 405-702-4322



YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City

Before- and after-school care that supports academic, physical and social-emotional development

The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City’s childcare programs provide support to my family in the form of childcare and mentorship. It provides me peace of mind. I know that my son is having fun, is safe and being cared for when I need it most.

The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City has a mission to provide quality out of school time programming that supports academic, physical and social-emotional development to school-age children before and after school hours. They offer financial assistance, feeding programs and value-based curriculum that focuses on character development through STEAM, health and wellness, global learning and many other topics.

St. Mary’s Episcopal School

Exceptional early childhood and elementary programming

To see a list of before- and afterschool care program locations, visit

St. Mary’s Episcopal School is an independent Christian school educating children ages 2.5-5th grade with exceptional early childhood and elementary programming designed to help each child achieve his or her personal best. St. Mary’s is fully accredited by the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools, which is recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools and the state of Oklahoma.

At St. Mary’s, every child is known. It is important to the faculty and staff at St. Mary’s to be able to get to know each individual child and their families. St. Mary’s becomes a great community for students and families as they raise children together and begin to form life-long bonds and friendships. In their small school environment, children feel valued and secure.

Choosing SMES for our family has meant investing in a strong educational foundation for our children. By ensuring that our children have the tools and teachers they need to begin a lifelong love of learning, we are preparing them for a bright future.

Laura Peck, parent

505 E Covell Rd, Edmond 405-341-9541 @smesedmond on Facebook and Instagram


Casady School

Over its 75-year history Casady School has instilled in its graduates the educational and social skills that allow them to use their potential to make a difference in their community and beyond. Casady School’s Portrait of a Graduate represents the Casady student’s journey, which helps students thrive with a life of balance, purpose and joy. They find their balance learning the value of working together inside and outside the classroom. They find their own personal purpose that gives them joy they share with the world.

In 1947, Casady School’s founders envisioned a school focused on children’s intellectual growth, physical health and spiritual formation. Small classes and personal attention from faculty cultivate the students’ intellectual life, a healthy sense of competition improves their physical prowess and religious instruction deepens their understanding of spiritual reality.

Today, in the same educational tradition as its founders, the school follows the Strategic Academic Plan that drives its pedagogy, which focuses on:

• Student Wellness

• Student Engagement

• Durable Learning • Skills and Knowledge

• Community Engagement

All programming is based on these pillars and through the lens of the School’s Portrait of a Graduate:

• I Honor

• I Engage

• I Service

• I Learn

• I Innovate

• I Thrive

Casady School strives to present an affordable education for highly motivated students throughout the Oklahoma City area, while recognizing that the financial investment may be a significant expense for many families. Thanks to robust scholarships, payment plans and need-based financial aid, qualified students should not be deterred from applying to Casady for financial reasons. Annually,

the school awards more than $1.5 million in financial aid to approximately 20 percent of the student population.

For 75 years, the mission of Casady School has held firm: We prepare the citizens of tomorrow to succeed, think for themselves, act with compassion and live lives of balance, purpose and joy.

After having been away for several years, our family returned to Oklahoma City in 2011 with three young children. We started our trip around the Lake in Primary and Lower Division and now, 11 years later, those same children have grown into a graduate and two Upper Division students. Casady has been an integral part of the growth and maturation of our students into young adults preparing for life’s journey. We could not have found a better home for our family 11 years ago.

Laura and John Hart, Tyler ’20, Avery ’23, Landon ’25

An Episcopal Day School dedicated to educating the whole child, intellectually, physically and spiritually 9500 N Pennsylvania Ave, OKC 405-749-3100


Epic Charter Schools

Oklahoma’s largest virtual charter school

What is Epic Charter Schools and who can attend?

Epic Charter Schools is the state’s largest virtual charter school. The school serves students statewide in grades PreK-12 free of charge. Each student is paired with a certified Oklahoma teacher, who assists them in developing an individualized education plan, choosing curriculum and connecting them with all the resources they need. The school accepts students year-round, and any student who is a resident of Oklahoma is eligible to attend.

What makes Epic unique?

What makes Epic unique from other schools is the flexibility offered. Students can choose from multiple curriculum options and select the schedule and environment that works best for them. Further, each student receives a $1,000 virtual credit that can be used to purchase needed technology and supplemental curriculum tools as well as to access external extracurricular activities (such as horseback riding or ballet). With this Learning Fund, no money ever exchanges hands. Choosing from a list of approved vendors, students simply fill out an online form and Epic staff takes care of the rest.

Is there a cost to attend Epic?

No. Epic is a free public school.

How do Epic’s online teachers engage their students?

Epic’s blended learning model allows for a mixture of in-person and online instruction that works best for each student. Some students attend a regular classroom setting each day at one of the Virtual Learning Centers in Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Others experience a mostly virtual setting, while still others prefer a mixture of both.

As a parent, I love how Epic allows us as a family to make the choices that are right for us. The choices and flexibility we have make it a great fit.

Amanda Cole, parent

405-749-4550, ext 286


Oklahoma Hall of Fame

Providing museum exhibits and curriculum to your school

The museum that honors Oklahoma’s rich tradition by telling its story through its people now provides three traveling pop-up exhibits with themes of Pioneer Spirit, Generosity and Individualism.

These FREE exhibits:

• Feature Oklahomans with inspiring, unique stories that demonstrate the title characteristic such as Shannon Lucid, astronaut; S.E. Hinton, author; Will Rogers, actor/journalist; and Jim Thorpe, athlete.

• Include stand-up banners as well as accompanying age-appropriate curriculum, resources and video links for elementary, middle and high school students, which engage the students and fulfill Oklahoma Academic Standards.

• Can be booked for one to two weeks.

• Even include free shipping!

Learn more and reserve these exhibits at

1400 Classen Dr, OKC 405-235-4458

Awesome Moms Contest T H A N K Y O U T O O U R P R I Z E S P O N S O R S : M E T R O F A M I L Y ' S W
d o
o u
e y w
r e c e
v e b
g p
z e s ! In February, enter your favorite photo of your sweetie ages 0-3 years in our Cutest Baby photo contest! There are two ways to enter: Submit on our contest webpage: OR Post on Instagram with the hashtag #cutestbabyokc AND tag @metrofamilyokc 10 winners will be chosen and featured online, on social media and in the May/June issue. Plus, winners will score fabulous baby gifts and prizes! Winner gifts include items from RadioFlyer, Newton Baby, Britax, Everdeen and so much more! Enter Feb. 1-28! 1 2 Is your baby or toddler the cutest? METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023 39
e w a n t t o h e a r a b o u t t h e i n s p i r a t i o n a l m o m s , g r a n d m a s , t e a c h e r s , m e n t o r s a n d o t h e r m o t h e r f i g u r e s i n y o u r l i f e . S t a r t i n g J a n . 1 1 , s u b m i t y o u r w r i t t e n n o m i n a t i o n o f 2 5 0 w o r d s o r l e s s a n d a p h o t o o f y o u r n o m i n e e . N o m i n a t i o n s m u s t b e r e c e i v e d b y M a r c h 1 . T h e w i n n e r a n d t w o f i n a l i s t s w i l l b e f e a t u r e
r w e b s i
e , p l u s t h
i l l
r i

9 trending programs for students

in the metro


Experience history and spark conversation through art

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art opens two new exhibitions in mid-February that meld art and history.

Art and Activism at Tougaloo College tells the story of the first modern art collection in Mississippi, housed at the Historically Black College. The collection was acquired for the college by leaders of the New York art world, beginning with pieces by well-known artists like Pablo Picasso. As the students became more involved, they requested works by Black American artists, leading to a collection featuring works by artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Alma Thomas and Romare Bearden. This program came to light as civil rights protests swirled across the fiercely segregated state and Black students weren’t allowed in other museums.

hopes student visitors will see how art can be used to convey emotions and incite positive change.

Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice is a 1940s era series of paintings by William H. Johnson created as a tribute to Black activists, scientists, teachers and performers, as well as heads of state working to bring peace to the world. Coming from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the works feature both famous historical figures, like Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver and Mahatma Gandhi, as well as lesser-known individuals.


“Students wanted to see paintings that looked like them,” said Dr. Bryn Schockmel, coordinating curator for Art and Activism. “It might seem small but it made a huge difference to the students.”

Alongside the art, visitors will find a timeline of civil rights events happening simultaneously. In addition to appreciating the vibrant and varied works of art, visitors will gain insight into the intersections of modern art and social justice. Schockmel

Using bright colors and an almost cartoonlike style, Johnson’s work will be especially appealing to young visitors as the scene around each individual represents the story of their lives.

OKCMOA will provide four touchable versions of the artworks for visitors who are blind or low vision or those looking to have a more sensory rich experience with art.

Both exhibitions will run Feb. 18 through May 14. Schools can take advantage of free field trips, either in person or virtually, as well as reimbursement for bussing and substitute teachers. Find more information at

We applaud these local programs and organizations for providing top-notch educational opportunities and support for kids and families!

OKCPS students pilot new film production program

During the 2022-2023 school year, two high schools within Oklahoma City Public Schools have been participating in a new film production course providing students the opportunity to learn and experience the critical role film production plays in the making of movies, TV shows, documentaries and other content.

Named Scissortail Studios, the course was developed in partnership with Film Education Institute of Oklahoma (FEIO), a local nonprofit with a mission to help train and develop local film production personnel to meet the demand for jobs brought to Oklahoma. After piloting the program this school year at Northwest Classen High School and Frederick Douglass High School, the district hopes to provide the program at all of their high schools beginning in August 2023.

Classroom curriculum is taught by OKCPS and FEIO instructors, and both a permanent and mobile film lab with stateof-the-art equipment for producing film are available to students. The mobile lab visits various school sites, school events and community activities.

“With each year of this new program, students will gain valuable knowledge and experience, positioning them for job and career opportunities in one of Oklahoma’s fastest growing business sectors,” said OKCPS Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel. “We are excited to help unlock new opportunities for our kids while helping Oklahoma strengthen its position in this fast-emerging industry.”


McKnight Center provides free arts education experiences for students

Since the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts opened in Stillwater in 2019, one of the nonprofit organization’s goals has been to increase arts exposure for students in the area. Every student in Stillwater Public Schools will have the opportunity to enjoy a production, for free, every year, says Darin Williams, director of education and community engagement.

In 2022, students were bussed to the center

touring show STOMP and dance company Pilobus. Third, fourth and fifth grade students participate in LinkUp, a partnership between the center, Carnegie Hall and the Enid Symphony. Curriculum covering a variety of music genres, involving dance and movement and even teaching students how to play instruments is provided to music teachers, and the program culminates with students performing with the symphony at the center.

Center may not pursue the arts as a career or hobby, Williams hopes they all walk away with a new appreciation for how art can make a positive impact on their lives and the community.

“If kids in these experiences strive to become an artist, that’s great,” said Williams. “Or if there are future CEOs in the seats who will have a heart to support nonprofits like us, that’s great. But if the vast majority can simply find joy or see art as a way to selfsoothe, that’s even better.”

Williams hopes to eventually expand the program’s reach to homeschool students and public schools throughout Payne County and beyond. Learn more about programs and the center’s family series at


Moore students helping students through the Bridges program

The number of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness in Moore Public Schools has increased 325 percent, reports the Moore Public Schools Foundation. In the 2021-2022 school year, there were 34 identified unaccompanied youth in Moore Public Schools, and likely there are more who opted not to self-identify. Students experiencing homelessness are 87 percent more likely to drop out of school than their stably housed peers and are at greater risk for assault, suicide and addiction.

Moore Public Schools, Moore Public Schools Foundation and nonprofit organization Bridges, Inc. are working together to address housing and other needs for these students through the creation of Bridges Moore.

The organization provides ongoing support for unaccompanied youth to remove barriers to high school graduation and help set goals beyond high school. Services are currently provided at the Bridges Norman site, plus an MPS liaison connects students with resources like food, clothing, utility assistance and transportation.

In early 2023, Bridges Moore will build 20 individual housing units behind Skyranch Elementary School. Unaccompanied students will live in the homes independently but have full-time staff support.

“They will act as an educational parent, making sure they are getting up and going to school, completing projects or catching up if they are behind,” said Clayton Ramick, executive director of Moore Public Schools Foundation. “They will help ensure they graduate but also have a plan for the future and help transition into their next housing, whether that’s a dorm at college, an apartment or applying for government housing.”

Bridges Moore must raise $2.5 million to fund the project. Their largest donation to date, $300,000, came from Moore high schools and their feeder elementary and junior high school students through the annual Moore Love fundraising campaign.

For information about how you can help, visit

Boys & Girls Club opens first permanent club in Northeast OKC

The Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County is responding in major ways to the needs of our community to serve more children and families. The nonprofit organization provides after-school and school break care that inspires and enables youth to reach their full potential by encouraging academic success, good character and healthy lifestyles. Evidence-based programs encourage fun and build leadership, self-esteem and teamwork.

In addition to receiving nutritious snacks and homework help, students get access to a wide variety of activities, from sports and STEM to theatre and music. Families pay just $5 per semester per student, with scholarships available.

Eighteen months ago, the organization was operating six clubs in the county — now they have 18 as a direct response to community members’ requests for more services. The majority of the clubs are operated within or in partnership with local schools, and others, like the flagship Memorial Park Club, are permanent locations.

While the organization has served youth in Northeast OKC for more than 20 years, students have often had to be bussed to a location outside of their community. President & CEO Teena Belcik says it’s always been a goal to serve students where they live to provide consistency and connection.

Joining forces with Restore OKC, the two nonprofits purchased and renovated a Northeast OKC permanent club location. Fields and Futures helped provide outdoor spaces, including sports fields and courts, a walking trail and playground.

Inside the center, a partnership with Best Buy and Jasco powers the only Best Buy Teen Tech Center in Oklahoma. With everyday access to a recording studio, programmable sewing machines, virtual reality programs, drones and a variety of computers and

3D printers, students can explore interests and careers in STEM, technology, fashion design, video, film, music and more.

Eventually, Boys & Girls Club hopes to make the Best Buy Teen Tech Center available to students from other clubs and to the community at large.

Learn how to become a volunteer or supporter of Boys & Girls Club, or how to sign your child up to participate, at


New nature school inspires wonder in students

Back to Earth School launched their first school year in the fall of 2022. Considered a homeschool hybrid school, the school currently serves a class of first and second graders on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with many students participating in homeschool or virtual school programs on the off days.

In addition to teaching reading, writing and math, students enjoy plenty of unstructured time outdoors, in addition to yoga, movement, singing, art and handwork like knitting and crocheting. Wide open outdoor space, a wooded area and simple, natural elements encourage kids to be imaginative in their play.

“Kids discover all kinds of little things in the natural world that spark a sense of wonder in them,” said founder Carlie Khodabakhsh. “That sense of being grounded and peace you find when you are in nature are important for mental health.”

The school’s teachers are trained in Waldorf Education, which offers an experiential, academically rigorous approach that integrates arts across subjects and aims to inspire life-long learning. Instead of trying to fit many subjects into each day, block scheduling allows students to intensely study a topic for 3 to 5 weeks before moving on. With small class sizes and a flexible schedule and curriculum, teachers are free to foster the specific interests and needs of each child.

Back to Earth School offers 8-week Forest School classes for ages 4 to 6, during which students focus on engaging with the natural world. Weekly parent-child classes are offered for ages 0 to 3. New in 2023, the school will be offering a 3-day kindergarten program for ages 4 to 6. Classes take enrollment throughout the year. Contact backtoearthschool@gmail. com for more information.

Mid-Del Public Schools launches program to address period poverty

In late 2022, the Midwest City-Del City Public Schools Foundation launched a groundbreaking program for addressing period poverty in the district. In partnership with SSM Health St. Anthony HospitalMidwest and Aunt Flow, a nationwide purveyor of period products, each of the district’s elementary, middle and high schools received dispensers providing free period products. High-quality, sustainably made period products are available in 207 dispensers across the district, free to all students and teachers, regardless of income or need.

This program is the first in Oklahoma and one of the first in the nation. Period poverty is the condition of being disadvantaged due to menstruation and is most often experienced by individuals under financial constraints. Lack of access to adequate pads or tampons can lead to students missing class, staying home from school and falling behind academically.

“Period poverty is one of those problems that people tend to think of as happening in other times and places – if they are aware of it at all,” said Lindse Barks, director of the Midwest City-Del City Public School Foundation. “Unfortunately, period poverty is very real for today’s Oklahoma students, and we believe this partnership will go a long way to help address it. Additionally, we hope this will help start a dialogue not only in our schools but in our community and the state as a whole, so we may all better understand and confront the inequities brought about by period poverty.”


Experience nationally-renowned exhibit about the Holocaust in OKC

Families have the unique opportunity to experience the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, right here in Oklahoma City. In partnership with the Metropolitan Library System, the Smithsonian exhibit Americans and the Holocaust will be on display at the downtown library through the first week of February.

Best suited for tweens and older, the traveling exhibit challenges the commonly held assumption that Americans knew and did little about the Nazi persecution and murder of Jewish people as the Holocaust unfolded. The exhibit addresses Americans’ response to refugees, war and genocide in the 1930s and 40s through stories of individuals and groups who took action in response to Nazism.

Visitors will be encouraged to consider the responsibilities and obstacles faced by individuals in history — from the president to ordinary Americans — and ask themselves not only “What would I have done?” but also “What will I do?”

Programming and take-home kits related to the exhibit will be offered at libraries throughout the metro. Learn more and find a library near you at

Pioneer Library System’s Maker Mobile is a super STEAM-based workshop on wheels! Taking STEAM-focused programming out into the community, the Maker Mobile features 3D printers, a digital scanner, a CNC mill, laser cutters, computers, STEAM kits and “maker” books.

With broadband internet access, the mobile tech center can connect to the internet from any location. The vehicle generates its own power, so all the onboard technologies and equipment can operate even in remote locations. A drop-down stage, wheelchair lift, retractable awning and lighting system provide accessibility and expanded opportunities to enjoy the center for a wide variety of audiences and events. The Maker Mobile includes a dedicated PLS maker staff person to help guests learn how to use the technology and to work on a project of their choice.

The Maker Mobile is available for use by schools, programs in PLS libraries, community events and special audiences and individuals. Schedule a time to experience the Maker Mobile or find out when it will be near you by emailing MakerMobile@ or calling 405-801-4570.

CAMPS/CLINICS • BIRTHDAY PARTIES • FACILITY RENTAL FOR PRIVATE EVENTS SKATEBOARDS, ROLLER SKATES & INLINE SKATES ARE WELCOME 200 NW 142 ND ST, STE 106, EDMOND, OK 73013 VISIT DAILYSHREDDOKC.COM FOR HOURS, PRICING AND SPECIAL EVENTS. PH. 940-368-4768 PRO SHOP • EQUIPMENT RENTALS • LESSONS: GROUP & PRIVATE Don’t forget to bring your fishing pole and bait! Lots of fishing related activities. Awards for largest & smallest fish and other prize opportunities! Fishing license required for those 16 and over, but no trout stamp needed. 405.350.8937 Concessions available. Adults must be accompanied by a child. Free Youth Trout Fishing Event Saturday, March 4 | 8:00 - 11:00 a.m. Welch Park Pond - 615 Annawood, Yukon, OK Parking at Ranchwood Elementary LIFE IS A GIFT Give Hope Today. No act of kindness is too small. Through your gift to United Way, you have the opportunity to ensure that our neighbors around us have happier, healthier lives. Please contribute to our 2022 Give Campaign, and provide help and hope to thousands of children, adults and families in need in our community. METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023 45

Redefining Student Success

Parents should encourage their kids to strive for all As in the classroom, right? Not according to resilience expert Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe.

In today’s world, 3 out of 10 children can be classified as “maladaptive perfectionists,” which means they set unattainable goals and minimize their accomplishments. In short, they believe they are never good enough. This can lead to poor mental health, issues with sleep, exhaustion and overwhelm.

In a recent interview with MetroFamily, Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe shares why parents should encourage children to be B+ students and how to create healthy habits around school-life balance.

One of the things I came upon pretty early in my parenting role is this disconnect: in my heart I wanted to set my child up for optimal success — to be well equipped, top of their class and have all the skills and talents they needed to be successful — but as a resiliency scholar, I appreciated the power of failure, understanding those smaller setbacks actually equip them better for the real world.

One of the things I explored was where do we start to hit high levels of life satisfaction? I was curious about who are the most well-rounded, grounded, positive members of society. One of the consistent findings I kept coming upon is that these are all B+ students in high school, trades, college and university. I thought this was so interesting because if my goal for my children is that they are grounded and well-rounded, I recognize that being at the top of your class, that A+ perfectionism, isn’t necessarily the only path to get there.



What does it look like for us as parents to teach our kids to strive for B+?
Why parents should encourage children to be B+ students in 2023

It’s hard to send your children into school and say, “Try, but don’t try too hard.” So we start to think instead about well-roundedness and having multiple components of our identity. We’re competent in school, put in the effort and complete tasks — and we also make time for our friends and extracurriculars, recognizing that we can learn a lot of things outside of the classroom. Well-roundedness is what we are looking for.

Of course, when you’re looking at colleges and universities, your grades do matter. This is a real world implication, but what’s really important is to recognize there are enough opportunities, schools and programs that I believe if it’s meant for you, you will find your way into that program. Sometimes people chase this one program that requires a particular GPA or score to get into, but it’s about having what we call cognitive nimbleness or “flexible thinking” to recognize there will be a place or opportunity somewhere without putting ourselves in the tight, constricted areas where there’s only one possible outcome.

How can we help our kids — and our families — form healthier habits around work (or school)life balance?

I call it “life with work integration” — how do we get all of these parts moving in such a way that we have the spaciousness to get the work done and be well in the process?

We have to recognize that on any given day something will get missed. Our weekends and evenings are not long enough to repair all the work we put on ourselves in a traditional workweek. That doesn’t even factor in the invisible labor of being a parent, especially for women. The amount of mental focus to hold everyone’s lives together — to know everyone’s schedules — that takes a lot of energy, so we’re trying to do that and doing important work tasks, and something has to give.

First, we need clarity about our values. Determine what matters most to you.

It can be triggering for us as parents when we navigate perfectionism and see those behaviors in our children because we know how much pressure there is in that, never feeling like you are enough or doing a good enough job — we don’t want to see that in our children. If we always get things right, we don’t have the opportunity to learn about our skills and gifts — it’s sometimes through challenges where we learn about ourselves. We talk with our children about the idea of not wasting a mistake. We will unpack it, explore it and figure out how to show up differently next time.

The first conversation point with our children is reframing what success looks like. I tell my children and those I work with that success needs to be something we’re defining that is in our control. That means effort, preparation, concentration. Did I do everything to show up to give a “best effort?”

The other piece is anxiety around school. One of our children navigates anxiety around testing. They would know all the things but get into the situation [taking the test] and it would escape them. So one of our new goals for our daughter was whether she could have fun in the process by going into the test thinking of it as a celebration of what she knows and staying loose and relaxed. She also knew that I would still love her whether she bombed or did well and that this test is just one snapshot in time; it wouldn’t make or break her future. It was so fascinating to watch as she held that sense of calm and joy — it alleviated the anxiety enough for her where she could remember what she wanted to share because she took the pressure off herself. When students feel better, they do better and learn better.

We have so much power as parents because how we talk to our children will become their inner dialogue and how they talk to themselves as they grow up. I don’t get it right all the time, but I am confident that the internal dialogue I see our teens beginning to hold is giving themselves some wiggle room and grace — they know their values, their character and, as they navigate high school and post-secondary, they carry less of that pressure.

Next, instead of knowing your boundaries, which I struggle with because it sounds so permanent, I reframe the next part as knowing your non-negotiables. We need flexibility here. For example, instead of saying I won’t check emails on weekends, my non-negotiable is I don’t check work-related things when I’m in the kitchen because that is the nucleus of my family. Even those small micro behaviors can take off some of that pressure.

For our children, because values are abstract and they are in the stage between concrete thinking and abstract thinking, we can talk about character traits. We can talk about the idea of being brave and giving ourselves permission not to get it right the first time. Character traits are not that I’m an A+ student or the top of my class — it’s that I’m kind, hard working, thoughtful, considerate. We, and our kids, also have to know that in giving our best we need flexibility and it might look different every day. Today it might be 60 percent and tomorrow it might be 20 percent, and I need to be tender with myself to honor those ebbs and flows that are part of the human condition.

Editor’s note: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe is a resilience expert, author, speaker, mom and multi-award-winning education and psychology instructor. She has more than 16 years of university teaching and research experience and is the author of Calm Within The Storm: A Pathway to Everyday Resiliency, in which she details research-informed, sustainable, achievable personal development practices to take on the challenges of life.

This is a condensed and edited version of a MetroFamily interview with Hanley-Dafoe. To hear the full interview, become a Modern Art of Parenting member for $19/month or $199/year with a 30day money back guarantee. Enjoy access to presentations by internationally-renowned parenting experts like Hanley-Dafoe, plus additional perks. Learn more at

What are the implications of perfectionism for our children and how can we reframe this tendency?

Yoga for Teens

Why is yoga a helpful practice for teens?

Yoga helps teens cope with stress in many ways. For example, many teens develop a hunched posture doing school work and looking at screens for hours. This posture causes muscle tension. Since the body and mind/brain are connected, relieving this muscle tension through the practice of yoga postures soothes and relaxes the mind. Correcting posture also improves breathing mechanics, which enhances overall health and lessens stress.

Breath control can be used to combat stress. There are yoga breathing techniques to calm the body and mind, improve energy levels and help let go of anger.

During the teenage years, a great deal of brain development is occurring, which explains why we see behaviors that may be hard to understand, both for teens themselves and the adults in their lives. Yoga teaches skills that improve self regulation, the ability to choose optimal behaviors and direct thinking in healthy ways. Those are just a few great reasons learning yoga during the teen years can be the start of lifelong wellness!

Hefner Eye Care

Dr. Kim Hefner

My 8-year-old daughter was prescribed glasses for nearsightedness. My eyes are terrible and got worse as I got older. Is there any way to stop the progression of nearsightedness in kids?

Yes! It’s possible that your daughter would benefit from a new contact lens program called MiSight 1 day, which is a unique contact lens for children ages 8 to 12 that has proven to slow and in some cases stop the progression of myopia (nearsightedness). This is especially important because 96% of childhood onset myopia worsens as the child grows and our modern lifestyle of not spending much time outdoors, and, instead, spending more time on digital devices, exacerbates the problem. The results of the clinical trials of this contact lens treatment are impressive, with 59% of the children in the study having the progression slowed and 41% of the participants having no progression. We’re excited to provide this treatment option to our young patients.


Heather Lensgraf offers two-hour Yoga for Teens Retreats every first Saturday of the month, including Jan. 7 and Feb. 4. Learn more and register at!

Hopkins Law and Associates, P.C. Robyn Hopkins

My child comes home from time with my ex-partner displaying difficult behaviors. Should I take my ex back to court?

I’ve seen a big increase in ex-partners wanting to take their co-parent back to court. Our local courts are packed with these cases, which means your case might not turn out like you want it to. You should first read your divorce decree to remind yourself of the parameters already in place regarding custody, holidays, etc. It’s always better to try to work it out with your co-parent regarding most issues. There is a red line: If there is a pattern of behavior that is negatively affecting your child, first document what you’re experiencing and seeing with this situation. If it’s a consistent pattern and/or if the child is in danger, that’s when court action should be considered.

I encourage my family law clients to concentrate first on efforts to talk it out, counsel if needed, provide counseling to the child and whatever other actions that can be taken to avoid going back to court.

5757 NW 132nd Street (south of MacArthur & Memorial) 405-373-4792 1225 Piedmont Rd N, Piedmont

Can I find homeschool curriculum at Deer Clan Books?

Yes, Deer Clan Books recently began carrying homeschool curriculum from Abeka, Alpha Omega, Glencoe and other publishers. We also welcome donations of used curriculum and will often purchase curriculum from homeschool families. What else does your bookstore provide parents and children?

As an independent, community-oriented bookstore, we specialize in providing a place for community and the promotion of the love of reading. We provide a wide selection of new and used books, plus we can special order books at competitive prices. Book signings featuring Oklahoma authors are held biweekly, and families can enjoy free children’s story times held on the first and third Saturdays of each month. Groups can rent our special meeting room at reasonable rates. Later this year, we will offer tutoring services. Bookstore hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday.

405-495-9005 3905 N College Ave, Bethany

Deer Clan Books Claudette Robertson


Education turns dreams into reality. Boeing is proud to support those who give others the knowledge and encouragement to pursue the life of their dreams.



STEAM education is the future for our state and nation. Almost any discussion about education today includes the importance of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and the need to introduce these subjects to kids at an early age. The metro area abounds with STEAM opportunities for learning that can spark interest and launch a child in a direction that can impact them for a lifetime.

Now in its sixth year, Geekapalooza: A STEAM Festival for Kids is hosted annually by MetroFamily and Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma. Geekapalooza encourages kids to learn about STEAM topics through hands-on expo booths hosted by local organizations. The 2022 event was a huge success, and we look forward to seeing you at this year’s Geekapalooza on Nov. 4, 2023!

Thank you to our sponsors of Geekapalooza and this guide: Presenting Sponsor: Boeing; Community Partners: Continental Resources, Chesapeake Energy; Supporting Partners: OERB, Clevyr Inc., Google, MidFirst Bank, Kimray; STEAM Partners: Baker Hughes, Delta Dental Foundation of Oklahoma, Francis Tuttle, OSU CEAT K-12 STEM Programs, OUSHC College of Pharmacy, American Fidelity; Vendors: Just Kids Pediatrics, Metro Technology Centers, Mathnasium, Main Event, iCode, Science Museum Oklahoma, RIVERSPORT OKC, SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology, OUHSC College of Nursing, STEAM Engine, Marissa Made, OKC Zoo, OU Soonertarium, Pioneer Library, KFOR, UCO School of Forensics, OK Fire Department, Oklahoma Department of Forestry.


Boeing and Discovery Education launched FUTURE U to inspire and equip the next generation of STEM professionals in aerospace. FUTURE U offers hands-on learning experiences to help students in grades 6-12 embrace their potential to make an impact and innovate for the future.

Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma 6601 N Robinson, OKC 405-528-GIRL

Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma offers STEAM opportunities in a variety of ways. Girls entering kindergarten through high school have access to STEM kids, virtual Journeys, Badge-in-a-Box, hands-on events and more. Badge-ina-Box programs allow girls to earn badges in coding, art, robotics and outdoor stewardship right from the comfort of home. There are countless STEAM badges for girls to earn, including the brand-new “STEM Career Exploration” badges. Girl Scout members can join a myriad of STEAM-based camps and events including Galaxy Night and GEOsciences Day at Camp Trivera. Start your Girl Scout experience today at


Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB)

500 NE 4th St, OKC 405-601-2715

Through voluntary funding from the people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas, the OERB provides educators with free, hands-on curriculum aligned to state standards and all of the materials and equipment necessary to teach the lessons in their classrooms. The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas are passionate about investing in our future by providing quality science and math resources for teachers, students and parents.

Clevyr, Inc.

912 N Classen Blvd, OKC 844-425-3897

As a software development company, Clevyr spreads a love of software development with Oklahoma youth through workshops and speaking at elementary schools across the metro. They empower young women who are interested in technology by working with the Girls Scouts of America and SHECodesOKC. They open their doors as a venue host for members of the local tech community and pledge to stay committed to serving Oklahoma and its families through technology.

MidFirst Bank - MoneyMoments® Financial Education

501 NW Grand Blvd, OKC

MidFirst Bank is proud to offer the MoneyMoments(R) Financial Education program and serve as a guide to developing strong money management skills. Financial workshops and special events engage students of all ages, as well as adults, in personal learning experiences, while the online tutorials provide convenient access to financial information. View frequently asked questions, glossary terms and use the highly interactive and engaging calculators to help you make informed and educated decisions about your finances.

Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation - MouthScience

16 NW 63rd St, OKC 405-607-2138

Free to Oklahoma schools, MouthScience® Power of pH Lesson provides 3rd-6th grade students with an engaging, hands-on experiment that demonstrates the levels of acid and sugar contained in common drinks. The purpose of the exercise is to motivate students to make intentional and healthier drink choices that will decrease their chances of cavities and gum disease.

Francis Tuttle STEAM Academies

12777 N Rockwell Ave, OKC 405-717-4900

Find out how you can become a computer programmer, a doctor, a business mogul or a builder of great things in one of the Francis Tuttle Technology Center STEM Academies. High school sophomores, juniors and seniors spend half the school day with hands-on learning activities that prepare them for college. Areas of study include computer science, engineering, biosciences, medicine and entrepreneurship. Academies are open to students who reside in the Francis Tuttle school district.

Oklahoma State University College of Engineering, Architecture & Technology (CEAT) K-12 STEM Programs

OSU Stillwater Campus 201 ATRC, Stillwater 405-894-4345

CEAT K-12 STEM programs work with K-12 schools and other organizations to spread the word that “Engineering is Everywhere” and to enhance STEM resources and activities available throughout the state. Their goal is to cultivate a sustainable educational ecosystem that trains a diverse, world-class STEM workforce in communities around Oklahoma.


The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy

1110 N Stonewall Ave, OKC 405-271-6598

The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy Pharm.D. program is a four-year, full-time, professional doctoral program. Students spend the first three years in the classroom and the fourth year completing rotations in various pharmacy settings including community, hospital, clinical services and social and administrative services. Pharmacy graduates train for careers in all professional practice settings and may also choose from diverse opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, government or education. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the OU College of Pharmacy among the top 31 programs in the country.

American Fidelity STEAM Program - AF Teacher Fellowship

9000 Cameron Parkway, OKC

The AF Teacher Fellowship provides teachers an opportunity to spend the summer with a corporate technology team learning about software development, enterprise information management or technical infrastructure projects. They can then take this experience back to their classrooms to help their students learn about and prepare for these careers. American Fidelity specializes in the education, public sector, automotive and healthcare industries with products like group and individual life, health and annuity services as well as other financial security products and services.


2217 NW 178th St, Ste B, Edmond 405-757-0500

iCode empowers future innovators! Students gain a broad depth of skills in coding languages, robotics and design through hands-on, collaborative, awardbased programs. Once enrolled, your child will begin at the best starting point for their individual skill level. The proprietary programs focus on both hard and soft skills, helping children gain a well-rounded, balanced education that is highly sought after in tomorrow’s growing technical workforce.

Main Event - Play Academy

1441 W Memorial Rd, OKC 405-751-4900

Play Academy is an accredited STEAM curriculum that combines real lessons with the games kids love. In partnership with Big Thought and, their labs show that the more students play, the better they learn.


Continental Resources is passionate about investing in the education of our future workforce and community leaders. Through the Funding the Future grant program, which was established in 2013, teachers in Continental’s operating areas can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to go toward any science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or reading initiative.

Visit to apply this fall.

Continental has awarded more than $700,000 in Funding the Future grants since 2013, helping more than 230 schools in six states provided enhanced STEM and reading programs for their students. This grant program is open to teachers whose schools are close to Continental’s operating areas in Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Texas.



14101 N May Ave, OKC 405-412-8758

Mathnasium offers mathematics instruction worldwide utilizing a time-tested approach that provides initial and ongoing assessments, customized learning plans, personalized instruction and guided practice to build each student’s math understanding. Beyond facilitating good grades and top scores on standardized tests, Mathnasium cultivates an intuitive understanding of math, teaching kids to become strong problem solvers and preparing them for bright futures.

Metro Technology Centers

STEM Center

1901 Springlake Dr, OKC 405-595-4319

The Metro Tech STEM Center offers programs in biomedical science, computer science and pre-engineering for high school students. Students can study or major in topics such as medical pathways, cybersecurity, esports & gaming, real-world architectural projects and more.

Oklahoma City Zoo

2101 NE 50th, OKC 405-425-0218

Check out the OKC Zoo’s School’s Out Day Camps: Zoology in Action held March 15-19. From testing the waters to examining animal behaviors and rearing exotic plants, zoos move full STEAM ahead while caring for wild animals and wild places. Campers will explore all facets of zoology as they take part in hands-on STEAM activities, explore the zoo and meet animal ambassadors up close! For


Pioneer Library System - Maker Mobile

300 Norman Center Ct, Norman 405-801-4500

The Pioneer Library System’s Maker Mobile brings STEAM-focused programming into communities across Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties. This workshop on wheels features 3D printers, laser cutters, embroidery machines, vinyl cutters and more and is complete with broadband internet access, connecting to the internet from virtually any location. Schools, community groups and individuals can reserve the Maker Mobile to visit their hometown and provide


800 Riversport Dr, OKC 405-552-4040

Make plans to attend Esports Camps this summer! The new Smashcade Esports Event Center is offering camps that help e-athletes boost their gaming skills while incorporating safe practices. Sessions include game-specific training, gameplay, competition, exploration of careers in esports and a focus on creating healthy lifestyles while enjoying esports. The esports arcade is now open on the second floor of the McClendon Whitewater Center. The arcade includes more than 25 games with a focus on family-friendly titles.

Science Museum Oklahoma

2020 Remington Pl, OKC 405-602-3760

Full STEAM ahead! Science Museum Oklahoma offers hands-on science education every day, but the museum really gears up when school is out! STEAM camps for kids

in Prek-6th grades are offered throughout the year. Whether your child enjoys exploring the universe in the planetarium, trying out robotics in the tinkering studio or loves to get their hands dirty with some gooey experiments – there’s a camp that’s perfect for everyone! Camp themes vary each season and camps never repeat a day, ensuring young scientists get a new experience every time. Members receive discounted pricing.


Museum of Osteology

10301 S Sunnylane Rd, OKC 405-814-0006

With over 800 specimens and 450 REAL animal skeletons from all corners of the world, SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology provides an experience unlike any other. Homeschool Days at SKELETONS give local families a chance to visit the museum and participate in hands-on programs focused on natural and life sciences that align with Oklahoma Academic Standards. Classes include owl pellet dissections, locomotion & skeletal adaptations, Animal CSI and more.


The STEAM Engine, Inc. AfterSchool STEAM Clubs

6500 S Land Ave, Ste 25, OKC 405-652-9697

The STEAM Engine provides STEAM enrichment to students in grades 3-8 at community partner sites across the metro. In their after-school clubs and summer day camps, participants increase awareness about STEM concepts and careers, build confidence through mentoring relationships and develop innovation skills through hands-on learning. Current themes include Thrills and Spills Rollercoaster Engineering, Wands and Wizards (Harry Potter-inspired STEAM exploration), Making PLACES (City Planning, Design and Construction) and Get a Grip (Robotics in Space).

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing 1100 N Stonewall Ave, OKC 405-271-2428

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing prepares nurses to care for patients and families, engage in scientific discovery, translate evidence into practice and drive innovation in healthcare to advance health.

As a STEM-based profession, nursing education requires a strong foundation in science, math and the social sciences. As the

Parents and Teachers:

Send your K-2nd graders on exciting YouTube money adventures with Emily the Money Lady and her sidekick, Frank the Frog! For exciting money adventures, scan the QR Code or visit! METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023 55

The antithesis to violence: LOVE & NICE

Henry Rice’s story

More than 50 years ago, Henry Rice was a preteen growing up in what he calls one of the roughest neighborhoods in Texas. A male mentor got Henry and his brother involved in martial arts. Soon enough, the Rice boys were teaching their skills to kids who had previously bullied them.

Those lessons and ideologies from martial arts still shape Henry’s life today as he continues to share them with the students in his music classroom and with kids throughout Oklahoma City and beyond through his presentations and newly-published workbook on teaching nonviolent strategies.

Prioritizing love and kindness

In the late 1980s, Henry was in charge of students in in-school suspension at a middle school in Corpus Christi. He calls his first tactic with the students militant, which he says was effective but not as effective as what would come next.

“It was more like scaring the kids than loving the kids,” said Henry. When Henry changed course to spend the morning sitting in a semicircle with the students, just listening to their individual challenges and situations, something powerful shifted, both for the students and for Henry.

“In the afternoon, when their work was due back to their teachers, they were very productive,” remembers Henry. “When they started understanding that someone was listening — when they felt I wasn’t just a teacher but had a heart — they were more manageable. So that became my philosophy.”

Henry, his wife, Norma, and their four kids moved to Oklahoma City in 1999, where Henry spent time in music ministry for a local church. He was substitute teaching on the side when the realization hit him: “This is more ministry than my office at the church.”

Henry worked for Seeworth Academy charter school for 15 years and then began his current role at Putnam Heights Academy in Oklahoma City Public Schools as the music teacher.

Henry officially published his book Hey TEENS (Teaching Everyone Everywhere Nonviolent Strategies) in 2022. But he says he began writing the curriculum during those years at the middle school in Corpus Christi and honed the strategies further during his time at Seeworth, where some of his students were adjudicated or involved in the juvenile justice system. He has also been sharing his nonviolent strategies through presentations at churches, youth organizations and the YMCA throughout the years. The Urban League hired him to provide 6-week training courses for students who’d been sent to jail and their parents.

It was after the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022 that Henry decided he needed to make his strategies on teaching nonviolence more widely available.

“You can’t change or get rid of violence — it’s been there and going to be there — but what you can do, and the premise and foundation of the book, is the mantra: In the atmosphere of love and nice, violence fades from your sight,” said Henry.

Years ago during those in-school suspension days, Henry held up the word violence to his students and asked for their thoughts on a solution. While no one had an answer that day, it soon dawned on Henry that two very important words are hidden within the letters of “violence.”

“You can’t spell violence without L-O-V-E,” said Henry. “Then the balance of the letters was [the word] nice. The answer to violence has been in the word all along.”

With that foundation, Henry began creating 12 lessons in a discussion and workbook format. He starts with defining violence — and helping teens and their caretakers understand the realities of not just physical


violence, but verbal and emotional violence as well. Teens discover what violence they’ve been the victims of and what violence they are perpetrating on others — including things like prejudice, jealousy and giving the silent treatment.

From considering their attitudes and how they influence others to cultivating self-respect, discipline and peace, much of the reflective work Henry encourages teens to do is focused on how their actions can impact the world around them either negatively — or for good.

“I can’t stop you from taking my shoes or shooting me — but I CAN stop myself from doing that to you,” said Henry. “This is internal work — wherever you can love people and treat people kindly — you diffuse violence.”

The long-term effects

Just about every time Henry ventures into public, he runs into former students. They often thank him for teaching them discipline, share a hug or reminisce about how they felt cared for in his classes. Even students to whom Henry remembers having to dole out serious consequences often surprise him years later.

“This one, I thought might punch me,” Henry laughingly recalls. “But he high-fived me. That was closure. They know your heart when you

“You don’t win everyone,” said Henry. “But you do what you can to try to deter it.”

As both a teacher and as a father, Henry says he has tried to simply “sow seeds,” not knowing where they will end up.

“That makes it hard, because, for example, as a farmer, you don’t know what elements will come against your crops, and the reality is, failure is real,” said Henry. “But when you see results, whether it’s five years or 35 years later, seeing the fruits of what they become is a reward.”

As a dad, Henry’s delight in his now-adult children is palpable, and he says he and Norma were “honored to raise them.” His oldest daughter, Monique, shares his love of teaching and also works in education. Krista performs spoken word, and Henry relishes in playing her work for his students to see their powerful reactions to her affirmations. His daughter Jeanae is a behavioral therapist, whom Henry calls to consult with about students. His son, Henry, served as the youth family coordinator for the YMCA for years, and he is the reason Henry started presenting his workshops through the Y.

As Henry speaks with pride about his children and his former students, he also looks toward the future, knowing there are more students he will be blessed to teach and whom he hopes to bless as well.

“Seeing potential surface is what I love most,” said Henry. “Whether as an educator or parent or in ministry, seeing that pearl in the rough,

For more information about our classes, camps, programs and Arcadia Lake, visit us at Join us for amazing adventures in 2023!

Wild about Conservation

Local opportunities to learn and help

Dr. Hayley Lanier, assistant curator of mammals at Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

One in eight species are currently susceptible to extinction specifically due to human impact on the environment. Habitat loss, pollution and climate change threaten these endangered species. This data, released in a 2019 report by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, has spurred efforts to preserve biodiversity because when species face extinction, humanity suffers.

The teams at three local attractions are pioneering unique conservation efforts by working together. The Oklahoma City Zoo, SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology and Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History are on a mission to protect our biodiversity — and they provide many opportunities for local families to help.

“We don’t even know the full effects as to what the loss of biodiversity would do, but there are cascading effects,” said Ashley Mason-BurnsMeerschaert, director of museum operations & education at Museum of Osteology. “The hope is that we will inspire people to preserve and conserve species now.”

Partnerships protecting biodiversity

Members of the OKC Zoo’s leadership team coauthored a 2022 research paper in BioScience that outlines how collaboration between Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) members and natural history museums can enhance humans’ understanding of wildlife.

The Zoo’s partnerships with local museums began with the need to dispose of animals after they die in a way that could also extend the

purpose of their lives. The Museum of Osteology has been cleaning specimens for the Zoo for several decades, then adding those specimens to their collection.

When a specimen from the Zoo is donated to the Sam Noble Museum, it may be displayed for educational purposes (like great silverback gorilla Bom Bom on display in the lobby) or preserved as a bio fact so it can be handled by visitors during educational programs. The majority of the specimens are prepared for research, and they are available to the scientific community globally as part of the museum’s extensive collection.

“They can go on to have another purpose,” said Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino, OKC Zoo’s director of veterinary services. “They can still be used for conservation, research and educational purposes so their story continues forever.”

“I want my son to live in a world where he can find horned lizards and encounter swamp rabbits because animals make our lives richer. You may think some animals don’t have much of a purpose — like opossums — but they can eat thousands of ticks every night. Practically, having a diversity of species keeps us healthier as humans.”

Local and global effects

The information these two local museums help glean makes a positive impact on animals’ care at our Zoo and in their natural habitats.

For example, when an Asian elephant died, the Zoo’s team could not determine a cause of death. In preparing the specimen’s skeleton for display and research, the Museum of Osteology made an important discovery.

“We found out a severely impacted molar had been infected,” said D’Agostino. “It’s impossible to x-ray an elephant and when an elephant opens their mouth, you can’t see much. We use a plumber camera to look at their teeth, and because of what we saw, we increased the frequency of how often we do that.”

When an Indian rhino had an infected tooth and needed surgery, the Zoo’s veterinary team was able to examine a similar skull in the Museum of Osteology’s collection to prepare for what was a successful surgery.

Conservation efforts between the Zoo and Sam Noble Museum include studying and supporting diminishing species, like the Texas horned lizard. As the lizard’s habitat has decreased around the metro, the Zoo and Sam Noble Museum established a “head start” program to revitalize the population. Eggs are collected from a wild habitat at Tinker Air Force Base, incubated at the Zoo and the resulting hatchlings are raised through their most vulnerable stage of life. Then, they are released back to the wild habitat to augment the population.

“It’s a species beloved by Oklahomans and

an important part of our ecosystem,” said Dr. Rebecca Snyder, OKC Zoo’s director of conservation and science, “so we want to make sure the animals have healthy populations in the wild. We need biodiversity to help people and wildlife thrive.”

Beyond the metro, these partnerships inform scientific research at large.

Conservation and research groups often compare specimens at the OKC Zoo with those available for study at the Museum of Osteology. The Sam Noble Museum receives requests from researchers around the world, for whom specimens donated by the Zoo are invaluable.

“People may contact us wanting to study genetic diversity in elephants or gorillas or


giraffes,” said Alexander Mann, marketing and PR officer at Sam Noble Museum. “We are able to give samples they can use for research into how genetic diversity is distributed and how we can direct conservation efforts to conserve those populations.”

Perhaps most valuable to local families, the opportunity to connect with animals in concrete ways enhances the value of conservation for kids.

“For kids, being able to touch things is important,” said Dr. Hayley Lanier, assistant curator of mammals at Sam Noble. “When they come here and can touch an elephant tooth, they become interested in what elephants eat and what they are doing in the world.”

Did You Know?

If you see a plant, animal or insect you don’t recognize, snap a photo and email the Sam Noble Museum. Their specialists


Learn more about conservation

At OKC Zoo:

• FREE daily Caretaker Chats give visitors the opportunity to learn animals’ names, what they eat, how much they weigh and what their personalities are like.

• See the veterinary team at work at the OKC Zoo’s Joan Kirkpatrick Veterinary Hospital. Observe procedures ranging from preventative health exams to surgeries.

• Visit the OKC Zoo on an animal awareness day. Visitors can interact with animals’ caregivers and learn about conservation projects for that species.

At SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology:

• Explore the museum’s recent remodel and expansion, including an additional 100 skeletons on display and a refresh of the popular Explorers Corner for kids. Don’t miss the Oklahoma exhibit to learn about our state’s biodiversity, from road runners to American bison. Grab a scavenger hunt at the front desk to take on your selfguided tour!

• Be an anthropologist for a day through the Junior Forensics program. Learn to analyze and “read” a skeleton.

• Find curriculum meeting Oklahoma academic standards for grades PreK through college at Plus, find information on Scout badges, homeschool resources and school break camps.

At Sam Noble Museum:

• Explore the Hall of Natural Wonders to learn about biodiversity. Don’t miss visiting the bat cave and learning why prairie dogs are so important to our environment and ground water.

• Visit the second Saturday of each month for Curiousiday. Activities, story times and programming are free with admission and offered in both English and Spanish.

• Summer camps provide animal- and science-loving kids with unique hands-on experiences that could inspire their career paths!

Did You Know?

The team at the Museum of Osteology cleans and prepares 2,000 to 5,000 skeletal specimens every month for institutions around the globe!

The process:

1. Technicians begin by removing the specimen’s mass of tissue.

2. Flesh-eating beetles naturally clean the rest of the specimen.

3. The bones are chemically whitened, sanitized and oxygenated.

4. Now, the skeleton, which has come apart in 200 to 400 bones, is ready to be articulated, or put back together, with hand drills and wires. The team also sculpts cartilage to add between the vertebrae or bones.

The articulation process takes about 15 to 20 hours for a small specimen, 40 to 45 hours for an anatomical human and up to 700 hours for a whale!


Inspire kid conservationists

How can your family make a big difference from your own backyard? The experts from the OKC Zoo, Sam Noble Museum and Museum of Osteology provide their top tips:

• Spend time in nature as a family. Enjoy health benefits, like reducing stress, and the sense of stewardship that will inspire children to care about the natural world.

• Plant a pollinator garden or start small by planting a few milkweed plants, the monarch butterfly’s host plant.

• Recycle and reduce your plastic usage.

• Make a bird or bat house.

• Don’t use pesticides.

• Plant native species or choose a section of your yard to leave un-mowed. This provides a place for bees and native plants to thrive, animals to hide out and your family to study the biodiversity occurring in your own yard.

• Become a citizen scientist! Families can help make observations and submit data to inform scientists’ work. Watch for opportunities from our local attractions.

• Empower your kids to come up with ideas that utilize their talents to make a difference. Embrace their natural curiosity and questions.

“All these little things may seem really tiny and like they wouldn’t make a big difference — but it makes a huge impact if everyone does it,” said D’Agostino.

s o cc e r ci t yo kci t y. c o m 4520 Old Farm Road, OKC (west of
south of 122nd) 405-748-3888 Birthday Parties! Come in for a FREE TRAIL CLASS! If you love it, REGISTER and mention this ad to receive your rst Lil’ Kicker class free! (One class free upon registration) Check our website for details and enrollment or Call TODAY! • One hour on the eld • One hour in our private party room • Includes Lil’ Kickers coach as chaperone • Add on pizza, snacks, drinks • ALL AGES WELCOME Ages 18 months-9 years learn soccer skills at their age-appropriate level, all with an emphasis on fun. Lil’ Kickers program Starting at $175 Email Tyler at: for availability and more info METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / JAN-FEB 2023 61


Go on an Eagle Watch at Edmond’s Arcadia Lake! The winter months are prime time to spot majestic eagles in the Sooner State, and Arcadia Lake will host a special watch Jan. 6-8. Stop by the Arcadia Lake Park office for information about where the eagles can be found, plus check out the raptor wingspan display, videos and more. Dress for the weather and don’t forget binoculars! $3 per vehicle. (Outside of the Eagle Watch event, visit the area for hiking and eagle spotting throughout January and February with entry of $6 per vehicle.)


Find all the frugal family fun this season has to offer by visiting .


Stop in for a sesh at The Daily Shredd! Learn how to skateboard or perfect your skills at Oklahoma’s first-of-its kind skateboard facility. Snag an open skate pass for $15, or schedule a group or private lesson with experienced instructors.


When the weather outside is frightful, head to an indoor play place or museum! Science Museum Oklahoma was voted a 2022 MetroFamily Family Favorite for both Indoor Fun/Amusement Venues AND Museums for Children & Families. Expend that pent-up energy experiencing a plethora of science-based fun, including climbing the indoor play structures, enjoying hands-on activities and watching mind-blowing shows.


Take a nature walk to enjoy the fresh (chilly!) air and look for easier-to-see wildlife in the absence of foliage. Martin Park Nature Center, the 2022 MetroFamily Family Favorite winner for Place to Explore Nature, is an ideal location to take a hike, enjoy the playground and learn in the educational center.


Cast a line to catch a fish! OKC Parks hosts FREE bi-monthly Hooked on Fishing classes for ages 5 to 15. Participants learn basic fishing skills, including casting and knot tying, and then can try their hand at fishing. Rods, reels and bait are provided. Catch the fun Jan. 7 & 28 and Feb. 11 & 25. Preregistration at is required.


Winter at The Cowboy

Kids Take over

The Cowboy

First Saturday of the Month 10:00 a.m. – Noon with Storytime at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Enjoy activities organized especially for kids relating to current events or the Museum’s latest exhibitions.

Free for members or with Museum admission. Activities available while supplies last.

January 7 • outLAWman

February 4 • Boley Rodeo

Late Night at The Museum: Fun with Forensics

January 27 • 6:30 – 11:00 p.m.

Kids will discover fascinating facts about fingerprints, try powdering for prints and learn how to create an impression casting. Follow up with a flashlight tour of outLAWman exhibit and a real-life game of Clue! Then, curl up for a showing of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1995).

Children 7 and up; an adult must accompany children. $35; $30 for child Museum member. Reservations required at

Heritage Table: Black History

Every day in February

In celebration of Black History Month, take time to explore Museum galleries and learn about the different perspectives of Black history in the West. African-American soldiers, known as Buffalo Soldiers, played an important role in the West. In the face of prejudice and discrimination, the stories and impact of these soldiers are seen today and in the Museum galleries. Hear the bugle trumpet sounds made by Buffalo Soldiers in the Joe Grandee Gallery of the American West and make a trumpet of your own at the Museum’s Heritage Table!

Free for members or with Museum admission. Available while supplies last.

1700 Northeast 63rd Street • Oklahoma City, OK 73111 (405) 478-2250 •
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.