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October 2011

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Addressing bullying, theatrically

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The Okee Dokee Brothers paddle the Mississippi Education resources

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from the editor

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remember my daughter’s first day of kindergarten. She was wearing a blue checked jumper with little white daisies embroidered on it. I chose that dress because daisies are significant to her: They are the first “solid food” she ate. (Long story short: chubby six month old baby holding daisy + Yo-yo parent busy shooting her photo + flower suddenly in mouth = one entertainment for bare stem.) Anyway, she got on the bus wearing that sweet little all ages and events dress, waved good-bye, and never looked back. Broke. My. Heart. As I was shaping the editorial for this issue, I had to do a lot of thinking about education, and what that means to my readers. Many of you have just put your kids on the school bus for the first time; some are trying to figure out whether preschool would be beneficial for a son or daughter; others are trying to ensure that the school year is clear sailing and devoid of unwelcome stress such as bullying. Dazzling Dave MNP 1011 12.indd 1 9/2/11 11:14 AM We have high hopes that our kids will fit in, that they will understand the lessons, and won’t get all wigged out when it comes time to dissect frogs or have to wear a swimsuit for phys RESTAURANT ORCHARD & FARM ed. We hope that kids won’t miss the bus; that they get cast in the school play; and that when it comes time for the big solo in the u-Pick Berries, apples & Pumpkins 4th grade winter holiday concert, they hit all the right notes. u-Pick Hotline 952•873•3654 All of this is normal parental musing and worry, our hopes and dreams for our children. And all of it begins with choosing the fall fun • Half Peck Play Area with a Monster Truck, right educational experience for them. Feeling the pressure Pirate Ship, Tractor & Train • Mountain Slide much? One way to alleviate subsequent stress is to attend the • Goat Habitat annual Minnesota Parent Education Fair at Como Park Zoo & 28th annual Conservatory on October 15. It’s a really cool event this magazine organizes as a way to help you formulate opinions and make informed decisions. Lots of educators set up booths, bring hand outs, and stay the day to talk about their establishments. Be sure Sept. 10–Oct. 30 to circle the date on your calendar. • 100 Scarecrows on Display • Wagon Rides That first day of kindergarten was just one of many days my • Giant Haystack Jump • Petting Zoo • Maze daughter broke my heart throughout her K–12 education. She Weekend activities closed up that kindergarten year singing “You Are My Sunshine” in • Barrel Express Train • Camel Rides • Pony Rides • Live Music the talent show. I missed the performance, and when I heard she’d Tour Groups Welcome gotten a standing ovation at the end, well … it starts with Broke.

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Kathleen Stoehr, Editor

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POSTMASTER send address changes to: MINNESOTA PARENT, 1115 Hennepin Avenue S. Minneapolis, MN 55403. Minnesota Parent is copyright 2011 by Minnesota Premier Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Address all material to address above.

October 2011 7

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Mine for Nine With an ever-growing body, it can be challenging to stay fashionable and not break the bank. is an online boutique that allows women to borrow maternity clothes at 75 percent off the retail price instead of investing in a new wardrobe that becomes obsolete after the baby is born. For example, instead of spending $85 for a new work blouse, you can borrow four for the same amount. Browse the site, find something that fits your style and then choose whether you want to borrow or buy it. Evening gowns are also available. A Patsy Drape Silk Dress retailing for $254 is available to borrow for $64. Each “like new” item is professionally dry cleaned and inspected before being lent. Visit for more info.

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It may not be a sugar rush Halloween candy and kids usually go hand in hand, but it’s hard to contend with the hyperactive behavior—or what you may think is a sugar high—after your kid has consumed a few too many. Be tempted to place all the blame on the sugar, but it could also be a reaction to the synthetic-based food dyes and other additives in the treats. A recent Food and Drug Administration panel recently concluded that synthetic food dyes can have a detrimental effect on some children’s behavior and narrowly rejected requiring warning labels on foods containing these additives. So, how do you I.D. the culprits? They’re pretty easy to see: they will be the yellow, red, green, blue candies—pretty much anything brightly colored. If you would like to read more about this, see the New York Times’ March 29, 2011 article, F.D.A. Panel to Consider Warnings for Artificial Food Colorings; email mnga@mnpubs. com for a pdf copy of the FDA background document; or visit for further information. •


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According to a Georgetown University study quoted in a recent paper by Wells Fargo’s economists, college graduates still earn 74 percent more over their lifetime than their pals with only high school diplomas. If they go on to earn a professional degree they’ll make a whopping 180 percent more, on average. So how can parents best prepare for college costs when tuition increases have been outpacing inflation for nearly three decades and show few signs of easing up?

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1. Start saving early. Nearly half of parents with children ages five and under already have something saved for college, up from about a quarter of parents in 2007, according to new research from Fidelity Investments. This is striking because the majority of those families have scraped together savings despite still paying their own student loans and covering day care or preschool tuition. We fall into this statistic, and save just $150 a month for our three kids. It’s not even close to the more than $1,000 per month the calculators mockingly claim we

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should save to cover just part of state college tuition for our progeny. But we know the magic of compound interest, and plan to save more once our youngest is in grade school. 2. Don’t put school in the stock market’s hand. If it wasn’t clear to you after the stock market’s wild ride in 2008–2009, it should be after this August: The stock market is volatile, and is no place for your short term money. By short-term, I mean cash you’ll need to access in three to five years. Many families use 529 college savings plans for education savings, and can select a range of investment options from all stocks to all cash. A very popular option is one where the investment mix of stocks, bonds, and cash is tied to when your child will enter college. It’s a great way to diversify without worry, but be sure you know how much of your kid’s tuition money is tied up in stocks. The amount varies depending on which state 529 plan you choose. For more on 529 plans, visit

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costs. For most families, the days of

document opens the door to federal loans and grant money. Yet despite the annual pleas from financial aid officers, many families fail to fill it out, assuming they wouldn’t qualify for any help. The good news is that the number of families who filled out the form increased from 72 percent in 2010 to 80 percent this year, according to student lender Sallie Mae. This resulted in an increase of grant money that helped families pay less out of pocket. Curious about how much aid you might qualify for? Check out the FAFSA4Caster tool at 5. Put a limit on borrowing. College

consultant Carol Stack routinely gets questions from parents about how much debt is okay to take on for a college degree. So Stack, a former admissions director at both Macalester and Augsburg and co-author of The Financial Aid Handbook: Getting the Education You Want for the Price You Can Afford came up with $8,000 per year, or $32,000 for a four-year degree. She considered several variables, such as the $31,000 four-year federal student loan limit and the approximately $33,000 average starting salary for a liberal arts graduate, to come up with her guideline. She says students who are pursuing a higher paying career can take out more, so long as their total debt doesn’t exceed their expected first year’s starting salary. Check out for more of Stack’s down-to-earth advice. •

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October 2011 11

Sixth-grade scholars journey into history


t isn’t often that I wish I were 12 again. But every winter, when students in my local middle school embark upon their history day projects, I feel the urge to impersonate a sixth grader and delve into a meaty topic, just for the fun of it.

By Joy Riggs

The National History Day competition has grown immensely in the past three decades; more than half a million students throughout the country now participate each year. It’s also become a popular academic challenge for Minnesota students. When Tim Hoogland began coordinating History Day in Minnesota 23 years ago, about 120 students participated, representing six schools. Last year, Minnesota had 31,000 participants in grades 6 through 12, the highest participation rate in the nation on a per capita basis. Of those, about 1,100 were sixth

“In the end, what’s really fun to see is that kids look at textbooks not as a dull destination, but they might see a little thing in a paragraph that becomes a doorway to another learning adventure.” Tom Hoogland

12 October 2011

graders from 25 different schools. “The thing that stands out in Minnesota is 85 to 90 percent of the students are doing it for credit assignments, not enrichment. It is a core part of the school curriculum,” says Hoogland, the manager of education outreach services at the Minnesota Historical Society.

Revolution, reaction, reform History Day in Minnesota is sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and the University of Minnesota’s department of history. A different theme is selected each year by the national organization—the theme for 2012 is Revolution, Reaction, Reform—and students choose their own topics within that theme. They also decide on a presentation method; it could be an exhibit, a performance, an interactive website, a documentary, or a research paper. They can work individually or in groups, and entries are divided into two levels, junior (grades 6 to 8) and senior

(grades 9 to 12). Hoogland says the presentation options reflect how historians work in the real world. Some historians make documentaries (think Ken Burns); while others create websites or design museum exhibits that engage visitors with pictures, objects, and captions. “The secret of History Day is that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a documentary or a performance or exhibit—they all are writing assignments,” he says. The increased emphasis on reading and math as a result of No Child Left Behind legislation has meant elementary teachers don’t have as much time to devote to subjects like history. Hoogland says assigning history day projects allows teachers to cover state standards while also engaging student interest in social studies. Teachers report that students benefit from improved research and analysis skills, and their students say they use libraries more and gain vocabulary words through their participation. “In the end, what’s really fun to see is that kids look at textbooks not as a dull destination, but they might see a little thing in a paragraph that becomes a doorway to another learning adventure,” he says.

Surprising discoveries Because sixth grade social studies standards are tied to Minnesota history, many sixth graders choose Minnesota-related projects for history day. Some have interviewed local people as part of their research. For example, last year, a couple of students interviewed former Vice President Walter Mondale about the Iran hostage crisis. Others have found family connections while researching their topics at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, like the student studying Prohibition who discovered that her grandmother “did time” for bootlegging. “We see family stories intersect with the resources we have here, and that’s pretty amazing,” Hoogland says. Hoogland suggests that parents play a


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supporting role for children involved in and Apple Cider, history day. Help students expand their Apple Bakery research beyond the internet by taking - A Family Outing them to a state university library or large public library. Consider signing them up 651-429-7202 Jacobson’s for workshops or special events related to history day research. But be sure to let the North of White Bear Lake Off E. Hwy. 96 on Apple Orchard Rd. student, and not the parent, become the expert. Students usually start their projects MNP 0911 12.indd 1 8/15/11 11:12 AM before the holiday break, and the critical Pine Tree Orchards MINNESOTA PARENT EDUCATION FAIR WOULD LIKE TO SAY... work comes in January and February. In March, students advance from their local school fairs to 12 regional competitions. The 2012 state competition is set for April 29 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and the national competition is in June near Washington, D.C. Last year, 56 Minnesota students advanced to the national competition. Minnesota students usually do well, but Hoogland says the goal of the state program is not to win medals; it’s to improve student learning about history in measurable ways. Sponsors: Delta Dental, Minnesota Association of Charter Schools, Children’s Yamaha “We try to make sure these events have Music School, Wells Fargo, YMCA, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory as many kids come to them as possible Entertainment: ARTrageous Adventures, Dazzling Dave the Yo-Yo Master, Simply Jane because we know these kids do learn from Door Prizes: All Seasons Preschool, Minnesota Virtual Academy each other. It becomes a very interactive experience for them to not only present 612.825.9205 their work, but to learn from the work of others,” he says. • Ed Fair MNP 1011 ThankYou H4.indd 1 9/12/11 11:40 AM


To everyone who made this year’s fair a success.

ResouRces Minnesota Historical Society National History Day in Minnesota index.htm University of Minnesota National History Day friends/HistoryDay.php Minnesota Department of Education Social studies standards Academic_Excellence/Academic_ Standards/Social_Studies/ index.html National History Day

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The education issue

Adventure, canoes and children’s songs The Okee Dokee Brothers’ educational trip down the Mississippi By David Kelly

October 2011 15 SUBMITTED PHOTO

Joe Mailander (left) and Justin Lansing (right) are the Okee Dokee Brothers.

The Mississippi River is a true cultural legend.

It has been an inspiration to artists and writers from Mark Twain to Johnny Cash, and is as much of a backbone for American art as it is for American industry. In the summer of 2011, the Okee Dokee Brothers, a Minneapolis-based children’s band, set off to find their own inspiration on the Mississippi, embarking on a thousand mile educational adventure down the river, hoping to write songs as they paddled along. “Growing up, we were always big fans of Huck Finn and those [kind of] stories. When we were younger, we always had a dream of taking a raft down the river,” says Joe Mailander, one half of the duo. “This trip was basically just us realizing a childhood dream.”

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Originally from Denver, childhood friends Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander toured the Midwest with a bluegrass band before settling in Minneapolis, and turning their focus toward independent children’s music. “Our songwriting was going in a more fantastical and absurd direction, which we found kids could relate to sometimes more than adults. Then, we had a few random experiences performing for kids and loved the nature of those shows. We loved watching families enjoying time

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October 2011 17

The duo had to paddle an average of 30 miles a day to stay on schedule. Hard to do when given a scenic backdrop so beautiful, one only wishes to stop and gaze.

together,” says Mailander. “We don’t have kids ourselves, but we find that sometimes not being parents gives us a certain advantage when interacting with kids, maybe because we’re still very much kids ourselves. We’re like their older brothers.” In the past few years, the Okee Dokee Brothers have become one of the most popular acts in children’s music, releasing two albums, playing shows all over the country, and earning critical acclaim for their thoughtful and dedicated songwriting. Most recently, they won a national Parents’ Choice award for their 2010 album Take It Outside. So when it came time for their next album, the band knew they wanted to do something big; something that would not only inspire them, but their listeners as well. After a four day trip along River Road through Minnesota and Wisconsin, they thought back to the hours spent playing by creeks when they were kids themselves, fishing, making rafts, and jumping off rope swings.

“We thought that could make a great motif for a record,” says Mailander. The band planned to travel for 30 days down the Mississippi, all the way from Minnesota to St. Louis. Along the way, they were set to camp each night and canoe every day, with hopes of meeting new friends and interesting characters, and most importantly, finding inspiration for a new collection of songs. “Authors will research material for years before writing, but songwriting, especially for children, doesn’t really get that same sort of treatment,” says Mailander. “Families deserve quality art that’s filled with stories that resonate deep within our history and our culture. That’s what we set off to make.”

Researching and relocating Preparation for the adventure went beyond only addressing issues of safety and logistics. The journey was about the music first and foremost, and the band

Families deserve quality art that’s filled with stories that resonate deep within our history and our culture. That’s what we set off to make.

Joe Mailander

18 October 2011

Submitted photo

knew it was important to understand the river’s history and culture before they started writing songs. Their research even led them to the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. “We dug through the old public domain folk songs about the river, and found some real gems,” said Mailander. “There’s so much history surrounding the river, and a lot of these songs really capture that.” The band planned to drop in the water on the morning of June 1st, at Hidden Falls Park in St. Paul, but faced an unexpected challenge early. The water had risen to unsafe levels, and the band had to readjust, delaying the launch and forcing the crew to find a new departure location. But perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. Instead, the band decided to set out at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota, at the headwaters of the Mississippi, which gave them a chance to experience a whole different part of the river than initially planned. “It’s a completely different river up north,” says Lansing. “It’s blue and clear, almost more like the ocean. We could jump right off the canoe and into the river.” To keep up pace, the band had to paddle an average of 30 miles a day. By the end, it was an absolutely exhausting experience. “There were the moments of

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October 2011 19

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis signaled the end of a long and educational journey.

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thinking ‘Wait, what are we doing? Why are we doing this?’ But the art takes precedence,” says Mailander, explaining that the band never considered turning around. Friend Jed Anderson accompanied the crew for the first five days of the trip, and left thinking they might be in over their heads. “After five days, I was done. I was exhausted. Before the trip, I thought it would be no problem, but I left thinking ‘holy cow,’ that is going to be so intense,” says Anderson. “I thought they were crazy.” Yet the band persevered, navigating through locks, avoiding barges, and trying their best to keep on schedule. “At times I couldn’t believe where we were,” says Lansing. “I remember coming across an island of nesting birds, just thousands of pelicans and egrets on one little island. It was amazing experiencing things like that, because you never could imagine it in everyday life.” “We had some fantastic experiences with meeting people on the river,” says Mailander. “There were a lot of serendipitous interactions with people helping us out that we didn’t expect.”

More information about the Okee Dokee Brothers, including upcoming tour dates, music from their albums, and a blog about their adventure, can be found at

more The last river rat—and Becky Thatcher, too One of the most memorable experiences for the band was spending three days

20 October 2011

with Kenny Salwey, a storyteller, woodsman, and river guide known as the “Last River Rat.” Salwey has lived on the river for years, and has become an advocate for the river’s history and ecological preservation. He shared stories about the river, as well as some valuable lessons, reminding the band to always respect the river and its power. “He’s met so many people and done so many interesting things, that he can take any one of the trinkets hanging in his shack and tell a story about somebody or something, and then turn it a universal lesson for everybody,” says Mailander. “He was honestly one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, and it was almost a mystical experience. He has a lot of wisdom.” Further south, they visited Hannibal, Missouri, the boyhood home of Mark Twain. “We met a family that was so generous and hospitable, and the daughter just happened to be the Becky Thatcher


ambassador for the town, in dress and everything. So we got to hang out with ‘Becky Thatcher’s’ family, right there on the river,” says Mailander. “It was pretty unreal.” Only three days before the trip was over, the crew faced their biggest setback. A powerful storm blew in at night, almost leveling the campsite. Chaos reigned as tents were destroyed and water damaged much of their recording equipment. “It came at a time in our trip we thought we were already there,” said Lansing. “It really proved to us that you can never get too comfortable in nature.” The crew had to paddle 70 miles in one day to make up for lost time, in one last push toward the finish line. Nearly a thousand miles and 30 days after they left the blue waters of Lake Itasca, the Gatewat Arch finally came into view. Sighs of relief were mixed with lingering questions. Maybe, they thought, they should keep going, and follow the river to its end. But the band had to return to the real world, with shows scheduled, and responsibilities to come home to. “The river goes on, but we had to stop,” says Lansing. “A part of us was left wishing we could see it all the way to the end.” The band survived, made it on schedule, and came out with more than 20 songs about the river, friendship, and adventure. In the end, the trip was a success. “The songs were about the river, but the same time we wanted to keep them as universal as possible, so that everybody can connect to them,” says Lansing. “We didn’t want it to seem like you have to be in our moment or mindset to enjoy the song.” The band is in the studio finishing the album now, which promises to be the first of a series of adventure-based albums. Along with the music, the band documented much of the trip, and hopes to release a DVD video accompaniment. In the end, they hope the album is received for both for the music, and for the adventure behind it. “It’s going to be a really cool story for kids to connect to,” says Mailander. “ And that was the whole point, to make kids think that if we did it, then they can do stuff like this too. We want them to dream big.” •

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The education issue

STANDING TO BULLYING YPC play helps kids—and parents— address bullying

By Julie Kendrick

22 October 2011


hen Minneapolis-based playwright Rita Cannon started writing Mean, an original musical about bullying, she found out that she had a lot to learn. “When I was in school,” Cannon says, “I certainly witnessed and experienced playgroundtype bullying. I’m only in my early 20s now, but I was surprised at how social media and cyberbullying have made the situation so much worse.”

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In this scene from Mean, a youth is harassed due to his sexual orientation.

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Cannon’s view that bullying has become bigger, faster, and meaner helped her to find a unique viewpoint for the play, which was produced this spring by Youth Performance Company, and will be reprised October 5 through 23. The musical play, which features original songs by well-known local performer and composer Kahlil Queen, presents the stories of three teens: a young woman teased because of her physical appearance, a youth harassed for his sexual orientation, and a devout Muslim teen being tormented at school because of her faith. The play uses plenty of technology, hip music and high-energy dance numbers to share a serious message: bullying can stop, but only if we’re brave enough to step up and say “no,” whether we’re parents, kids, or teachers.


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The production received considerable media attention last spring, and this fall will probably be no exception, especially since it’s running in October, which is National Bullying Prevention Month. “It’s something that’s on everyone’s minds right now,” says Jacie Knight, artistic director of Youth Performance Company, who initially approached Cannon and Queen about joining forces for the play. “Every day, there seem to be more stories in the news about this issue, and people can feel powerless. The great thing about this show is that it’s not only entertaining, but it’s energizing for people to feel they can 3:42 PM make a difference to stop the epidemic.”

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The bullying epidemic

“Epidemic” is certainly an apt description. According to, a new ANNUAL government website devoted to the issue, CONFERENCE 56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school. PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center For more info: 952.848.4906 or reports that things are no better in Minnesota Council for the Gifted & Talented 5701 Normandale Road, Suite 315, Edina, MN 55424 cyberspace, with 42% of children reporting that they have been bullied while online, and one in four saying it has MN Council for Gifted MNP 1011 12.indd 1 8/17/11 6:41 PM happened more than once. The government is taking notice on For children ages 6 weeks to 12 years many fronts, and recently held a White House Conference on Bullying. Speaking Infant & Toddler Learning Programs at the conference, Secretary of Health and Full Day Preschool • School Age Care Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said, Blaine: 763-784-1451 “Students involved in bullying are more St. Anthony/Roseville: 612-455-8955 likely to struggle in school, use drugs and alcohol, and have physical and mental health issues that can linger well into adulthood. Young people who do the bullying also pay a price—they are more likely to be violent as adults and get involved in criminal activity. Even Jack and Jill Preschool MNP 0911 12.indd 2 8/16/11 11:19 AM bystanders, the young people who are

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How bullying happens now The adults depicted in Mean are sometimes well-meaning, but often inept in their responses. Brianna Belland, who plays a teacher in the show and contributed to

“I think one of the important things Mean does is educate parents on the ways that bullying can happen to their children now, instead of the ways they might have experienced it when they were kids.” Gayle Sherman-Crandall, therapist

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witnesses to bullying, are more likely to become depressed and anxious, and feel unsafe at school. Bullying is not just another stage of development and it should not be accepted by anyone, anywhere, at any age.” To begin tackling this complex issue, Cannon conducted original research in the form of interviews with adults, kids, and a seventh-grade class. That research helped her uncover the stories that would be woven into the production. One key thing she learned was that kids often face bullying alone. “Parents can underestimate the extent of bullying, or think it’s not an issue at their kids’ school,” she says. “They assume that if there’s a problem, their kids will tell them. But the kids I talked to said they were too embarrassed or scared to approach their parents, or fearful that a parental response could be clumsy enough to make things worse.” And if parents won’t believe that their kids are being bullied, it’s even harder for them to come to terms that it’s their child who is doing the bullying. According to LG Text Ed, a foundation created by the mobile phone manufacturer to educate parents about the dangers and disastrous consequences of teen and tween mobile phone misuse, 43 percent of teens admit to putting someone else down or insulting them in a text, while only 10 percent of parents believe their teens had ever participated in this type of hurtful behavior.

what to do

For Parents: What to Do if Your Child is Bullied Talk with your child. Focus on your child. Express your concern and make it clear that you want to help. Empathize with your child. Say bullying is wrong, that it is not their fault, and that you are glad they had the courage to tell you about it. Help your child develop strategies and skills for handling bullying. Provide suggestions for ways to respond to bullying, and help your child gain confidence by rehearsing their responses. Work together to find solutions. Ask your child what they think can be done to help. Reassure them that the situation can be handled privately. 

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For Kids: What to Do about Bullies Take a stand and do not join in. Do not stand around watching someone being bullied. If you feel safe, tell the person to stop. Make it clear that you do not support what is going on. Walk away. If you walk away and don’t join in, you have taken their audience and power away. Give support. Talk to the person being bullied and tell them that you are there to help. Talk to someone you trust. Reach out to someone you trust to discuss the problem, especially if you feel like the person may be at risk of serious harm to themselves or others. Source:

Cannon’s initial research, says,579906_02513 “For any parent who thinks, ‘Do things like this 4.85x3.48 really happen?’ I want to say that yes, they do. I’m sorry that they do, and I’m sorry 4c that if I’m going to be completely honest with myself, I never spoke one word about my junior high experiences with my bullies, until I was interviewed for this show.” Belland says seeing aspects of her own story told in the play had a powerful impact on her. “It wasn’t until after rehearsals started that I realized how comments made to me in the sixth grade still affect the way I think of myself today in my twenties.” Gayle Sherman Crandell, therapist and co-founder of the Crocus Hill Counseling Center, has a son, Noah, who appeared in the spring produc-

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tion. She says that seeing a performance of a show like Mean can be helpful in opening up an important discussion for families. “Kids who are being bullied can often feel extremely isolated, and seeing a play in which they can relate to the problems of the characters up on the stage can help them to feel that they’re ARTrageous Adventures MNP 1011 12.indd 1 9/15/11 9:40 AMnot alone,” she says. Crandell, the mother of three teenagers, says that she appreciated the way the show “expresses the complexity of meanness in a unique way. It’s not a heavy-handed ‘After School Special.’ It’s lots of fun to see, even if it is a serious subject.” Crandell urges parents not to assume • Strong academics that bullying has not impacted their • Personalized learning children. “As parents, we don’t necessarily • Innovative technology know the extent of this problem, especially with the isolating factor of the • Committed partners Internet,” she says. “What was once a • Your dreams playground activity doesn’t end at the final CHOOSE School District 197 bell of the school day, but can continue around the clock. I think one of the The West St. Paul - Mendota important things Mean does is educate Heights - Eagan Area Schools offer a variety of great options parents on the ways that bullying can for your child from early happen to their children now, instead of childhood through high school. the ways they might have experienced it Call or visit us today! when they were kids.” With such a serious subject matter, We Take Learning Personally! Knight credits the Mean creators, Cannon 651.403.7000 and Queen, for keeping a spark of hope alive through story and song. “In the play, all three characters find a solution that helps them begin to see their way


26 October 2011

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through, whether by finding a friend to talk with, standing up to the bullies or switching schools. And when the entire cast joins hands at the end of the show for the rousing finale, ‘Stand Up,’ our audiences are on their feet and clapping along. They just love it,” Knight reports. The biggest message from the show is that there is power in a group of kids who take a stand and say “no” to bullies. As Secretary Sebelius encouraged at the Bullying Conference, it’s time to begin “speaking up the next time you hear someone use a homophobic slur, stepping in when you see someone being preyed upon and letting your local education leaders, from principals to school boards, know that bullying isn’t just part of growing up—it’s a serious danger to our children.” Knight expresses her hope that, after a visit to the show, families will have more than just torn ticket stubs and dog-eared programs, but a new opportunity for conversation. As therapist Crandell says, “This issue is one we can change just by shining a light on it. It’s something we can impact in people’s lives—today.” To learn more about performances of Mean October 5 through 23 at Youth Performance Company, visit or call the box office at 612-623-9080. •


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Websites This site aggregates information from multiple government agencies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, and educators can prevent or stop bullying. Online tools include ways to recognize warning signs, how to get help, specifics on cyberbullying, GLBT issues, and webisodes for kids. (For Kids: Sponsor of National Bullying Prevention Month in October, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center unites, engages, and educates communities nationwide to address bullying. LG, the mobile phone manufacturer, has sponsored Jane Lynch, star of Glee, in a series of videos on responsible texting. Episode #3, Mobile Harassment, portrays the perils of hurtful texting in a hilarious way. Books for Parents

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he first day of preschool is equally anticipated and dreaded for many parents. Is my child too young? Will my child be homesick? Plus, the task of choosing a preschool can be daunting, as there is no shortage of options. Schools vary in subject matter, price, and the amount of parental involvement required or asked for. Preschool makes transitioning into traditional school settings easier for all, however, and because many preschools are either half-day or half-week, acclimation is usually easier. This is a guide to popular preschool methods, many found in the Minneapolis area, and a summary of the curriculum in each approach.

The on educati issue

Academic preschool This type of preschool prepares students for elementary school by acting as a kindergarten: Teachers introduce math and reading skills to children in a classroom-like setting. Some academic preschools give grades as a regular school would, but each classroom varies in their grade policy. It is argued by some child development experts that academic preschools put too much pressure on children too early, which lessens their self-esteem and mistakenly puts their focus on academic development rather than social development and interactions. Britton Beran, 4, of New Ulm, started preschool this fall. PHOTO BY KYLIE BERAN

Preschool approaches

The different ways your preschooler could be learning By Alyson Cummings

28 October 2011

Activity-based These groups focus on academics as well as physical wellness. The groups typically utilize a “learning through play� environment much like that of a daycare, but many locations have more structured classroom learning setups. Students at these preschools are often offered more physical activity than their peers in other programs, as many of the classes and activities offered in the program, such as karate and gymnastics, are often available to students and their families at a discounted cost.

Bank Street Approach Bank Street preschools operate similarly to Montessori preschools because the pace of learning is set by students and guided along by the teacher. Teachers in both schools

recognize that students learn at different paces and each child is allowed to set his or her own speed. The topics introduced, however, are different. Bank Street preschools focus on five topics: cultural anthropology, history, political science, economics, and geography. Art and science are also learned, and most lessons are demonstrated or taught through hands-on activities with blocks, water, clay, or puzzles.

Fun Birthday Parties for children ages 3 and up! Cooperative A cooperative preschool is made up of a group of parents with similar interests or who live in close proximity who share responsibilities and are the preschool teachers. Some groups employ an outside teacher, but parents run the program. Each parent or family unit receives an assigned job (such as cleaning, providing snacks, leading lessons, etc.) and they rotate on a weekly or monthly basis. Cooperative preschools typically require larger time commitments than most preschools, which make them difficult for parents with full-time jobs. Normally, rates for cooperative preschools are lower than organized schools, though rates greatly depend on a variety of factors.

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Early Childhood Family Education Early Childhood Family Education centers are schools for both parents and children. At many meetings, parents hear from a parenting expert or have a discussion relevant to common parenting issues while children meet with a licensed teacher. After these educational sessions, children and parents typically engage in a free-play activity. Some meetings are held during the day and some are during the evening, so parents should evaluate their schedules before signing up for classes. The sessions are typically organized according to interests or nationality. For instance, one session could be comprised of families committed to living a sustainable lifestyle, and another session could be devoted to Asian-American families. Different locations cater to different parent groups, so it’s best to research topics and class sessions before enrolling.

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Children learn through interaction and activities with other children, but play is more emphasized than work. Children who attend play-based preschools are sometimes not prepared for the academics students encounter in kindergarten, though studies show that children make up the time easily and quickly.

Reggio Emilia

Faith-based Students earn an academic and religious education at faith-based preschools, which are often found connected to places of worship or private religious schools. Children will be involved in activities and learning with like-minded students, which will aid in involvement and feelings of inclusiveness. Programs that are part of private schools usually cost more for tuition and sometimes require uniforms.

High/Scope Approach When this program was introduced, it targeted at-risk, urban children who were at an early-learning disadvantage. One of the lesser-known preschool approaches, the High/Scope approach gives children highly individualized attention and care. The students do most of their core academic work on a computer with teacher-selected, age appropriate software. Students are taught the basics like language, literacy, and numbers, but they also learn how to interact with other students and how to take initiative with their own education.

Language immersion These preschools teach children the core subjects needed for starting kindergarten just like any other preschool—just in

30 October 2011

another language. It is believed that starting a child in a full immersion program while they are young will help them pick up the tongue faster and better than waiting until junior high or high school. The second language is introduced in a way that helps strengthen a child’s understanding of the English language while also developing an appreciation for two different cultures.

Montessori Teachers in Montessori preschools are guides and observers to their highly independent students. Children learn by engaging in activities at five stations: practical life, sensorial, language arts, math and geometry, and cultural subjects. Each station is within clear view of the others so students take in many subjects at once. Reading, like all Montessori subjects, is introduced individually to each child at his or her own pace. Classes aren’t separated by age and older children act as teachers to younger students. If possible, observe a classroom before enrolling your child; the Montessori name isn’t trademarked and can be used by any preschool.

Play-Based Play-based preschools are essentially daycares with a more structured, timed day.

Children who attend a Reggio Emilia preschool are exposed to beautiful classrooms and highly individualized education plans. Named for the small Italian town where this approach was started, the program introduces children to longer projects rather than day-to-day schoolwork most children receive. Some of these projects take three weeks or longer to complete, which teaches children focus as well as fundamental subjects. Each child receives individualized, one-on-one attention from a teacher, though the child really sets his or her own pace in the program.

Waldorf The Waldorf method is similar to that of the Montessori because it encourages learning by engaging all five senses. Academics aren’t stressed and reading is introduced through vocabulary and lessons in letters. Media such as computer games, television, and movies are strictly banned from Waldorf classrooms and snacks are typically nutritious and organic. The Waldorf method also teaches children about the connections between human life and nature, which teaches respect for the planet and can be used in their everyday life after leaving preschool. It’s best to research preschools before enrollment begins, just as you would an elementary school. The different options cater to diverse parenting types and schedules, and some schools are better suited to individual personalities and varied learning levels. Children learn in different ways, and choosing the right preschool will provide the education most beneficial to them as they take steps toward elementary school. •

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Resource guide ADverTiSer liSTiNgS


BlueSky Online School BlueSky Online School is a free, public school open to Minnesota students in grades 7 to 12. Founded in 2000, BlueSky accepts enrollments yearround and offers a unique, dedicated three-person student support team. Graduating students receive a Minnesota state-approved diploma. BlueSky Office: W St. Paul Online School: Statewide 651-642-0888 MN Association of Charter Schools The MN Association of Charter Schools (MACS) is a nonprofit membership organization advocating for Minnesota’s charter schools. To learn more about Minnesota’s charter schools, please visit the MACS’ website. MACS Office: St. Paul Charter Schools: Statewide 651-789-3090

Dance/Music/ Performance Saint Paul Conservatory of Music, The The Saint Paul Conservatory of Music offers high quality music education. Students of all ages and abilities experience a commitment to excellence through creative expression, disciplined training, and performance opportunities. Our motto is “Enriching lives through the joy of music.” 26 E Exchange St, Ste 500 St. Paul 651-224-2205

Montessori Jonathan Montessori School Jonathan Montessori is an authentic Montessori preschool and kindergarten, serving the Southwest Metro for 40+ years. Our internationally-recognized teaching method encourages students via hands-on experiences and customized learning in math, science,

32 October 2011

reading, life skills, geography, and more. Ages 3 to 6. 112050 Hundertmark Rd Chaska 952-448-5232

plans, oral health education and community support for underserved Minnesotans. 3560 Delta Dental Dr Eagan 651-406-5900

Step By Step Montessori Schools Step By Step Montessori Schools serves children 6 weeks to 8 years of age. The philosophy of Step By Step is to help each child develop a positive self-image within this carefully planned environment. The child develops skills for a lifetime. Locations in Brooklyn Park, Chaska, Corcoran, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Southdale, St. Anthony Village, & Wayzata 763-557-6777

Minnesota Children’s Museum Minnesota Children’s Museum is committed to sparking children’s learning through play. Grownups and children from infants to 10 years find a “smart play” environment that challenges children in a fun way and helps them achieve important learning milestones through creative, interactive exhibits and programs. 10 W Seventh St St. Paul 651-225-6000


Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs and the Internet ( and across North America and internationally. 158 locations in MN 800-869-3557

Central Child Care Care and learning for children age 6 weeks to 12 years in a nurturing, Christian environment. Project Early Kindergarten provides structured learning while participating in age appropriate activities for preschool children in our care, preparing them for kindergarten. 420 Roy St N St. Paul 651-646-2846 Como Park Zoo & Conservatory A visit to Como is an educational experience for the whole family. Encounter the world’s exciting animal habitats, explore the planet’s most exotic plants, and extend the love of living things from one generation to the next. Como offers education programs for preschool age to adults, including birthday parties. 1225 Estabrook Dr St. Paul 651-487-8272 Delta Dental of Minnesota Delta Dental is an independent, nonprofit health services company. Our mission is to serve Minnesotans’ oral health needs and since 1969, we’ve accomplished this by providing access across the state to oral health-care through affordable dental

Preschool Dodge Nature Preschool Situated on a 110-acre area of our Environmental Educational Preserve, the Dodge Nature Preschool brings the natural world into the lives of young children. Experiences at Dodge include visiting animals at our farm, discovery hikes through woods and prairies, apple picking, care of children’s gardens, tapping sugar maples, visits to our reptile lab and raptor house, and more. 1715 Charlton St W St. Paul 651-455-4555 Joyce Bilingual Preschool Joyce Preschool is a bilingual SpanishEnglish program for children ages 3 to 5 with strong emphasis on kindergarten readiness, second language acquisition,

The tion educa issue

development of early literacy skills, and parent involvement. Additional programs include parent-child classes and summer camp sessions. 1219 W 31st St Minneapolis 612-823-2447 New Horizon Academy New Horizon Academy, with 54 Minnesota locations, offers exceptional early education programs for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years. Full-time, part-time, and flexible schedules are available. 54 convenient Twin Cities’ locations. Visit us online to find a location near you! 763-557-1111 YMCA The Y is for Youth Development, nurturing the lives of children through value based enrichment programs and serving the needs of infants, toddlers, preschool, and school age children. We are your partner with over 70 program locations across the metro area. 612-230-9622

Private Cedarcrest Academy Offering an exceptional Catholic education, Cedarcrest focuses on academic excellence for every student from pre-K through eighth grade. Our mission is to provide the educational foundation and personal character skills required to prepare our young people to be moral, spiritual, and civic leaders for the 21st century. 6950 W Fish Lake Rd Maple Grove 763-494-5387 Chesterton Academy Twin Cities private high school offering an integrated, classical curriculum and Catholic-centered teaching. Rigorous academics • Outstanding faculty • Small class size • Strong college preparation • Daily Mass • Affordable tuition • Wide range of extracurricular

activities. Apply today for 2012–2013! 9400 Cedar Lake Rd St. Louis Park 952-378-1779 French Academy of Minnesota, The We are the only local school accredited by French Ministry of Education. We serve preschool through fifth grade in classes of 10 to 18 students. Native-speaking educators fulfill a French-based curriculum and promote critical thinking, problem solving, and life values. 9400 Cedar Lake Rd St. Louis Park 952-944-1930

International School of Minnesota, The ISM is a private, non-denominational, college prep school for preschool through twelfth grade. In addition to a rigorous curriculum, there are opportunities for all students to participate in music, sports, art, drama, and Student Life. ISM is a world-class education in your backyard committed to preparing students for college and for life. 6385 Beach Rd Eden Prairie 952-918-1840 Liberty Classical Academy Nourish your child’s mind and soul! Rigorous academics with a Christian worldview combine powerfully at Liberty, a classical and non-denominational Christian pre-K to 12, college-preparatory school. Liberty boasts excellent academics, competitive sports programs, small class sizes, along with a complete liberal arts curriculum. Lower School Campus: 1660 Birch Lake Ave White Bear Lake Upper School Campus: 2696 Hazelwood St Maplewood 651-772-2777 St. Bartholomew Catholic School St. Bartholomew has provided outstanding Catholic education for 50+ years. We offer a strong core curriculum including fine arts, foreign language, and servicelearning. Small classes and a focus on respect and self-discipline help our students achieve educational success and spiritual growth. Preschool to 6. Call for a tour. 630 E Wayzata Blvd Wayzata 952-473-6189 St. John the Baptist Catholic School St. John’s (pre-K to 8th grade) offers academic excellence in a vibrant, respectful, faith-filled community. Religious studies; service projects; high test scores; recognized science program; business units; Spanish: fine arts; before and after school care. We provide a challenging, solid, faith-filled

October 2011 33


foundation for life. Visit us: facebook. com/StJohnsNewBrighton. 845 2nd Ave NW New Brighton 651-633-1522 x1113

Public Minneapolis Public Schools Minneapolis Public Schools promises an inspirational educational experience in a safe, welcoming environment for all diverse learners to acquire the tools and skills necessary to confidently engage in the global community. We offer a wide variety of academic programming from pre-K to 12. Below is a list of all of our schools. Andersen United Anishinabe Academy Anthony Middle Anwatin Middle Armatage Montessori Bancroft Barton Open Bethune Community Broadway Alternative Bryn Mawr Community Burroughs Community Cityview Middle Dowling Urban Environmental Early Childhood Special Education Edison High Emerson Spanish Dual Immersion FAIR FAIR Downtown Field Community Floyd B. Olson Middle Green Central Park Community Hale Community Hall International Harrison Education Center Henry High Hiawatha Community High School SPAN Hmong International Academy Hospital Agencies IDDS (Inter District Downtown School) Jefferson Community Jenny Lind Elementary Kenny Community Kenwood Community Lake Harriet Community Lower Lake Harriet Community Upper Lake Nokomis Community Keewaydin Campus Lake Nokomis Community

34 October 2011

Wenonah Campus Loring Community Lucy Craft Laney at Cleveland Park Lyndale Elementary Marcy Open Metropolitan Learning Alliance Middle School SPAN MPS Metro SJ Nellie Stone Johnson Community North High Northeast Middle Northrop Community Pillsbury Community Pratt Community Ramsey International Fine Arts River Bend Educational Center Roosevelt High Sanford Middle Seward Montessori Sheridan International Fine Arts South High Southwest High Stadium View Success Academy Sullivan Community Transition Plus Waite Park Community Washburn High Wellstone International High School Whittier International Windom Spanish Dual Immersion District Headquarters: 807 NE Broadway St Minneapolis Student Placement: 2410 Girard Ave N Minneapolis 612-668-0000 Minnetonka Public Schools Minnetonka Public Schools is among the state’s highest performing public school districts, recognized nationally for use of technology as an accelerator of learning in every classroom. Minnetonka Kindergarten options include full day, half day, traditional K, Spanish Immersion, or Chinese Immersion. 5621 County Rd 101 Minnetonka 952-401-5000

Specialty Alliance Francaise Learn French with the French! The AF offers French classes for children ages 4

The tion educa issue

and up, after school and on weekends. The Alliance also offers cultural and social events for children and adults such as film screenings, a French library, and more! 113 N 1st St Minneapolis 612-332-0436 Art Academy, The City Pages Winner: Best of the Twin Cities! Year-round traditional drawing and painting classes and camps for students ages 5 to 18. Exceptional student/teacher ratio. Homeschool Program. A Renaissance Program for adults also offered. See samples of student artwork; visit our website. Call for a brochure. Classes: Holy Spirit Elementary 515 S Albert St St. Paul 651-699-1573 Calvin Christian Schools CCS’s comprehensive program provides rich learning experiences that meaningfully integrate a biblical world view. Over the past 50 years, CCS has built a solid reputation for delivering an outstanding, Christ-centered education. Today Calvin Christian’s three campuses serve nearly 500 students representing 100 churches and 45 metro communities. K to 8: 4015 Inglewood Ave S Edina 8966 Pierce St NE Blaine High School: 755 73rd Ave NE Fridley 952-927-5304 Roxann’s Tutoring Give your child a competitive edge in math and science. I am a previous full-time math teacher that provides enrichment and remedial math and science education to students of various ability levels. Offering assistance in middle school mathematics through high school calculus; and in physics and chemistry. By driving to my clients’ homes, I make tutoring sessions easy for the parents. I have 16 years of experience, including working with special need students. Roxann Snyder B.S. Mathematics, M.S.C.E.; Licensed Math Teacher 952-890-0072

ATTENTION WOMEN 21-32: Would you like to be an egg donor?

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The Center for Reproductive Medicine is seeking women between 21 and 32 years of age to donate eggs for couples who cannot otherwise achieve pregnancy. You will be compensated for participating in the program.

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October 2011 35

Fall Concert Series at Landmark Center featuring Red House Records Artists Third Friday of the Month, through December Cocktail Hour @ 7 pm | Concert @ 8 pm

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Landmark Center | 75 W. 5th Street | Saint Paul Tickets $15 in advance, $18 at the door

A Ramsey County Property

Sponsored by:

October 21, 2011

Cliff Eberhardt

nter e c k mar d n a m l f rToo purchase tickets or for more information visit




Shakopee, MN

©2011 Peanuts Worldwide LLC.

Trick-or-treat Trail Hay Bale Maze Charlie Brown’s Pirate Adventure Storytelling Witch And MORE!

$10 OFF All-Day Regular Admission

Present this coupon at any Valleyfair ticket booth. Not valid for Starlight admission, online tickets, Season Passes, Junior/Senior, Two-Day admission tickets or with any other offers or discounts. Must present and surrender coupon at time of purchase. Limit 6 discounts per coupon. No copies accepted. Additional restrictions may apply. Discount valid any day the park is open to the public from Sept 24 – Oct 30, 2011. 1 2 3 4 5 6

36 October 2011

RevVFLilWitchMNPubs.indd 1

9/20/11 10:59 AM

Something spooky this way comes Get your flashlight and hide under your blankie— these stories are sure to thrill!

No Ghost Under My Bed By Guido Van Genechten Clavis Publishing, $17.95 Ages 3 and up

By Katharina Gadow

Chills and Thrills: The Ultimate Anthology of the Mystical, Magical, Eerie, & Uncanny Edited by Lena Tabori and Natasha Tabori Fried Welcome Books, $16.95

One Spooky Night: A Halloween Adventure By Kate Stone Accord Publishing, $11.99 Ages 3 and up

Charming text accompanies one little monster as he heads down a shadowy path toward a creepy old house. Mysterious and fun, but not too scary for little ones, the surprise ending will captivate little monsters and put everyone in the Halloween spirit.

With historical tales from Mark Twain and H.G. Wells, and designed with beautiful illustrations from Timothy Shaner, Chills and Thrills is unlike any other Hallows Eveinspired book. This collection of ghost stories, curses, legends, poems, superstitions, and more will enchant youngsters for hours. Recipes that include graveyard brownies, spider cake, and witches brew, as well as spells to scare monsters, revenge an enemy, and foretell the future.

The Lunatic’s Curse By F.E. Higgins, Feiwel & Friends, $16.99 Ages 10 to 14

Join Rex as he tries to escape his evil stepmother and save his father, Ambrose Grammaticus, the famous inventor and master engineer. Grammaticus is falsely imprisoned in the Asylum for the Peculiar and Bizarre on Drop Rock Island, guarded by a monster. Rex must somehow uncover secrets long hidden away in the Asylum to prove his father’s sanity in this twisted tale of greed, treachery, and revenge.

From the beloved and acclaimed children’s bestseller and award winner Guido Van Genechten comes a delightful story about Jake, who is afraid to go to bed at night. Jake hears spooky noises as he lies down to sleep and begins to question the idea of ghosts; do they exist, are they in his room, are they under his bed? With his dad to the rescue, Jake discovers the answer to his questions.

A Tale Dark & Grimm By Adam Gidwitz Dutton Children’s, $6.99 Ages 10 and up

Author and teacher Adam Gidwitz was determined to make fairy tales extra awesome and a little more…grim. After reading the tales to his disappointed second and fifth graders in Brooklyn, Gidwitz decided to add a little blood and gore to the classic softened and sweetened Hansel and Gretel story. With a witty narration, Gidwitz guides young readers through the story, warning them when violence is ahead, creating a story his students love to read.

October 2011 37

Out About October 1 and 2

Apple Festival at Gibbs Museum ÎÎEnjoyÎappleÎgames,ÎappleÎcrafts,ÎappleÎ activitiesÎandÎappleÎfood—allÎinÎaÎbeautifulÎ historicÎsetting.ÎVisitÎtheÎHeritageÎAppleÎ photo by Act one, too Ltd.

Through January 28

Orchard,ÎmeetÎJohnnyÎAppleseed,ÎandÎ tourÎtheÎGibbs’ÎhistoricÎsiteÎonÎaÎhayrackÎ













‘do!ÎAÎjoyful,ÎupbeatÎproduction,ÎandÎveryÎwellÎcast.ÎNote:ÎthisÎisÎsetÎinÎ1962,ÎsoÎthereÎwillÎ beÎderogatoryÎcommentsÎrelatedÎtoÎtheÎmoveÎtowardÎsegregation.ÎHowever,ÎthisÎisÎaÎplayÎ aboutÎcomingÎtogetherÎandÎyourÎkidsÎwillÎcheerÎforÎtheÎleadÎcharacter’sÎopenÎmindsÎandÎ knowÎthatÎtheÎnaysayersÎwillÎgetÎtheirÎcomeuppance.ÎSomeÎveryÎslightÎsexualÎinnuendo. When:ÎVariousÎcurtainÎtimes,ÎincludingÎmatinees Where:ÎChanhassenÎDinnerÎTheatre,ÎChanhassenÎ Tickets:ÎPricesÎvaryÎdependingÎuponÎcurtainÎtime,Îage,ÎandÎmeal/noÎmeal Info:Îchanhassentheatres.comÎorÎ952-934-1525

38 October 2011

pulledÎbyÎaÎperiodÎtractor.ÎTheÎmusicÎ act,ÎStrawberryÎMoon,ÎwillÎperformÎ

When:ÎOctoberÎ1ÎandÎ2,ÎnoonÎtoÎ 4:00Îp.m. Where:ÎGibbsÎMuseumÎofÎPioneerÎ&Î DakotahÎLife,ÎFalconÎHeights Tickets:Î$8Îadults,Î$7ÎseniorsÎ62+ÎandÎ $5ÎchildrenÎagesÎ2ÎtoÎ16 Info:Î651-646-8629ÎorÎ

OngOing HaMLeT

Minneapolis Cost:Î$10Î(ageÎ18ÎandÎunderÎandÎageÎ 52ÎandÎup);Î$12ÎallÎothers Info:Îyouthperformanceco.orgÎorÎ 612-623-9080

Shafer Corn Maze ÎÎAÎ12-acreÎcornfieldÎinÎShafer,ÎMNÎhasÎ beenÎtransformedÎintoΓWelcomeÎtoÎtheÎ Dragon’sÎLair”ÎwithÎpathsÎjustÎfourÎfeetÎwideÎ toÎofferÎanÎauthenticÎhedgeÎlabyrinthÎfeel.Î When:ÎFriday,ÎSaturdayÎandÎSundayÎ throughÎOct.Î30 Where:ÎShafer Cost:Î$5ÎtoÎ$8;ÎchildrenÎunderÎ4ÎareÎFREE Info:Îshaferconmaze.comÎ

Falling Leaves Family Fun phOtO by Michal Daniel

OngOing Hamlet ÎÎTheÎKingÎofÎDenmarkÎisÎdead.ÎConsumedÎ withÎgrief,ÎPrinceÎHamletÎseeksÎtoÎavengeÎ hisÎfather’sÎmurder—withÎdevastatingÎ consequencesÎforÎhisÎfamilyÎandÎtheÎ kingdom. TheÎJungleÎTheaterÎpresentsÎ aÎfull-throttleÎcontemporaryÎproductionÎ ofÎHamlet,ÎShakespeare’sÎdisturbingÎandÎ psychologicallyÎrichÎmasterpiece. ArtisticÎ DirectorÎBainÎBoehlkeÎdirectsÎthisÎseminalÎ conspiracyÎplayÎasÎaÎparableÎforÎourÎtime.ÎAsÎ always,ÎHamletÎisÎnotÎforÎtheÎweeÎyoungsters.Î Minnesota ParentÎsuggestsÎageÎ12ÎandÎup. When:ÎThroughÎOctoberÎ9Î Where:ÎJungleÎTheater,ÎMinneapolis Tickets:Î$10ÎtoÎ$35 Info:Îjungletheater.comÎorÎ612-822-7063

Mercy Watson to the Rescue! ÎÎIt’sÎtheÎworldÎpremierÎofÎKateÎ DiCamillo’sÎbelovedÎMercyÎWatsonÎseries,Î aÎtaleÎfilledÎwithÎheart,Îhilarity,ÎandÎlotsÎandÎ lotsÎofÎhotÎbutteredÎtoast.ÎFYI:ÎMercyÎisÎaÎ porcineÎwonder. When:ÎNowÎthroughÎtheÎ23rd

Where:ÎChildren’sÎTheatreÎCompany,Î Minneapolis Cost:ÎPricesÎvary,ÎseeÎwebsiteÎforÎ additionalÎinformation Info:Îchildrenstheatre.orgÎorÎ612-874-0400

Planet Spooky ÎÎAdultsÎandÎchildrenÎalikeÎwillÎloveÎtheÎ allÎnewÎPlanetÎSpooky,ÎwithÎscare-freeÎ activities,ÎridesÎandÎshowÎtheÎwholeÎ familyÎwillÎenjoy.ÎIncludesÎLinus’ÎPumpkinÎ Patch,ÎHayÎBaleÎMazeÎandÎStorytellingÎ Witch,ÎreadingÎIt’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. When:ÎNoonÎtoÎ6:00Îp.m.,ÎweekendsÎ throughÎOctoberÎ30Î Where:ÎValleyfair,ÎShakopee Tickets:ÎPricesÎvary,ÎseeÎwebsiteÎforÎ moreÎdetails Info:Îvalleyfair.comÎorÎ952-445-6500

Mean ÎÎThreeÎstoriesÎofÎbullyingÎareÎcoveredÎinÎ theÎplay.ÎSeeÎourÎfeatureÎarticleÎonÎpageÎ22Î forÎmoreÎinformation.ÎRecommendedÎforÎ gradesÎfiveÎandÎup. When:ÎOctoberÎ5ÎthroughÎ23 Where:ÎYouthÎPerformanceÎCo.,Î

ÎÎNature-based,ÎfunÎactivitiesÎforÎtheÎwholeÎ familyÎeveryÎSaturdayÎandÎSundayÎatÎtheÎ Arboretum.ÎOctober’sÎtheme:ÎFallingÎLeaves. When:ÎWeekends,ÎnoonÎtoÎ4:00Îp.m. Where:ÎMinnesotaÎLandscapeÎ Arboretum Cost:Î$9Înon-members;ÎmembersÎandÎ ageÎ15ÎandÎunderÎareÎFREE Info:ÎÎorÎ 952-443-1400

Oliver Twist ÎÎIt’sÎtheÎMidwestÎpremierÎofÎanÎinventiveÎ newÎadaptationÎofÎOliver Twist,ÎwithÎ aÎchameleonÎcastÎofÎ13,ÎwhoÎcombineÎ Dickens’ÎoriginalÎtextÎwithÎVictorianÎ hallÎtunes.ÎSaysÎdirectorÎJoelÎSass,ΓIt’sÎ aÎgrown-upÎworld,ÎevenÎforÎstreetwiseÎ ruffians—soÎplacingÎoneÎloneÎboyÎamongÎ aÎcastÎofÎgrown-upsÎwhoÎareÎplayingÎallÎ theÎotherÎpartsÎinstantlyÎhelpsÎusÎfeelÎ theÎimmensityÎofÎtheÎchallengeÎOliverÎisÎ facing.”ÎYou’llÎquicklyÎforgetÎtheÎmoppethairedÎurchinsÎofÎmovieÎmusicalÎfame. When:ÎPreviewsÎOctoberÎ14,ÎopensÎonÎ theÎ21stÎandÎrunsÎthroughÎNovemberÎ6 Where:ÎParkÎSquareÎTheatre,ÎSt.ÎPaul Cost:ÎPricesÎvary,ÎseeÎwebsiteÎforÎ additionalÎinformation Info:Îparksquaretheatre.orgÎorÎ 651-291-7005

October 2011 39

Out About The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ÎÎAÎmusicalÎcomedyÎchroniclingÎ theÎexperienceÎofÎsixÎadolescentÎ overachieversÎvyingÎforÎtheÎspellingÎ championshipÎofÎaÎlifetime,ÎNote:ÎFamilyfriendlyÎperformancesÎareÎheldÎSundaysÎ atÎ2:00Îp.m.ÎOtherwise,ÎthisÎshowÎisÎ intendedÎforÎadultsÎonly. When:ÎPreviewsÎonÎtheÎ6thÎandÎ7th;ÎrunsÎ OctoberÎ8ÎthroughÎ30 Where:ÎTheaterÎLattéÎDaÎatÎOrdway’sÎ McKnightÎTheatre,ÎStÎPaul Tickets:ÎTicketsÎrangeÎfromÎ$19ÎtoÎ$39 Info:Îordway.orgÎorÎ651-224-4222

1 SATurdAy Minnesota renaissance Festival ÎÎThisÎlong-standingÎandÎbelovedÎfestivalÎ featuresÎliveÎarmoredÎjousting,ÎthemedÎ weekends,ÎandÎaboutÎ250ÎartisanÎbooths.Î When:Î9:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ7:00Îp.m. Where:ÎShakopee Cost:ÎFromÎ$9.50ÎtoÎ$20.95;ÎchildrenÎ underÎ4ÎareÎFREE Info:Îrenaissancefest.comÎorÎ952-445-7361

About the CAlendAr Minnesota ParentÎwelcomesÎ informationÎaboutÎeventsÎforÎfamiliesÎ throughoutÎtheÎstateÎofÎMinnesota.Î CalendarÎlistingsÎareÎFREEÎandÎcanÎ beÎsubmittedÎonlineÎatÎmnpubs. com;ÎclickÎonÎEventsÎ>ÎSubmitÎanÎ event.ÎYouÎcanÎsubmitÎaÎlistingÎatÎanyÎ time,ÎbutÎtheÎdeadlineÎforÎpossibleÎ inclusionÎinÎtheÎprintÎpublicationÎ isÎsixÎweeksÎpriorÎtoÎtheÎmonthÎofÎ publication.Î(ForÎexample,ÎJuneÎ15ÎforÎ theÎAugustÎissue.) AllÎeventsÎareÎsubjectÎtoÎchange.ÎÎ BeÎcertainÎtoÎcheckÎwithÎtheÎeventÎ sponsorÎeitherÎbyÎvisitingÎtheÎwebsiteÎÎ orÎcalling,ÎtoÎensureÎtheÎfeaturedÎ eventÎisÎstillÎviable. EventsÎtakingÎplaceÎforÎmoreÎ thanÎoneÎweekendÎinÎlengthÎwillÎbeÎ listedÎinÎourΓOngoing”Îarea,ÎspaceÎ permitting.

40 October 2011

onGoinG The 25Th AnnuAL PuTnAM COunTy SPeLLinG Bee Photo by GeorGe byron Griffiths

Barney Live in Concert— Birthday Bash!

Saturday Live! Aesop’s Fables

ÎÎThisÎsuper-dee-duperÎliveÎstageÎconcertÎ includesÎsing-alongÎfavoritesÎlikeÎMr. Knickerbocker,ÎasÎwellÎasÎWheels on the BusÎand Itsy Bitsy Spider.ÎYourÎkidsÎwillÎ getÎcaughtÎupÎinÎtheÎfun,ÎwhichÎcelebratesÎ friendshipÎandÎwholesomeÎvalues.

ÎÎTwoÎbelovedÎclassicÎtalesÎareÎtoÎlifeÎ onÎtheÎhistoricÎpuppetÎstage.ÎWatchÎasÎ theÎtortoiseÎandÎtheÎhareÎraceÎtoÎseeÎwhoÎ isÎtheÎfastestÎandÎasÎtheÎsunÎandÎwindÎ competeÎtoÎseeÎwhoÎisÎtheÎstrongest.ÎTheÎ resultsÎmightÎsurpriseÎyourÎkidsÎandÎtheyÎ definitelyÎwillÎmakeÎthemÎlaugh!

When:ÎTwoÎshows:Î1:30ÎandÎ4:30Îp.m. Where:ÎTargetÎCenter Cost:Î$10,Î$18,ÎandÎ$28.ÎAÎlimitedÎ numberÎofÎ$38ÎGoldÎCircleÎseatsÎandÎ $75ÎDinoÎSeatsÎ(VIPÎseatsÎ+ÎMeet/ GreetÎBarney)ÎareÎalsoÎavailable. Info:Îbarneylivetour.comÎorÎ612-673-0900

When:Î11:15Îa.m.ÎtoÎnoon Where:ÎSt.ÎPaulÎPublicÎLibrary,Î CentralÎLibrary Cost:ÎFREE Info:ÎÎ orÎ651-266-7034

Fall Colors Fine Art & Jazz Festival

Art Preview and Friendly Get Together

ÎÎShopÎforÎuniqueÎitemsÎwhileÎenjoyingÎ jazzÎandÎtheÎbeautifulÎfallÎfoliageÎalongÎtheÎ St.ÎCroixÎRiverÎandÎhistoricÎMainÎStreet.Î ThisÎjuriedÎshowÎandÎfestivalÎshowcasesÎ originalÎtheÎworksÎofÎareaÎartists.Î

ÎÎThisÎenchantingÎoutdoorÎeventÎwillÎ featureÎaÎdisplayÎofÎimaginativeÎcreationsÎ byÎmixedÎmediaÎartistÎPeterÎGeyenÎ producedÎoverÎtheÎpastÎyear,ÎmusicÎfromÎ popularÎlocalÎmusiciansÎTheÎCactusÎ BlossomsÎasÎwellÎasÎPattyÎandÎTheÎButtons.Î

When:Î10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ5:00Îp.m. Where:ÎLowellÎPark,ÎStillwater Cost:ÎFREE Info:Îdiscoverstillwater.comÎ orÎ651-351-1717

When:Î4:00ÎtoÎ8:00Îp.m. Where:ÎNicolletÎIsland,ÎMinneapolis Cost:ÎFREE,ÎbutÎallÎdonationsÎwillÎgoÎtoÎ Children’sÎHeartLink Info:Î

Out About Free 1st Saturdays at the Walker Art Center ÎÎTheÎWalkerÎArtÎCenterÎisÎaÎcatalystÎ forÎtheÎcreativeÎexpressionÎofÎartistsÎandÎ theÎactiveÎengagementÎofÎaudiences.Î FocusingÎonÎtheÎvisual,Îperforming,Î andÎmediaÎartsÎofÎourÎtime,ÎtheÎWalkerÎ takesÎaÎglobal,Îmultidisciplinary,ÎandÎ diverseÎapproachÎtoÎtheÎcreation,Î presentation,Îinterpretation,Îcollection,Î andÎpreservationÎofÎart.Î When:Î10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ5:00Îp.m. Where:ÎWalkerÎArtÎCenter,ÎMinneapolis Cost:ÎFREE Info:Îwalkerart.orgÎorÎ612-375-7600

St. David’s Get Out and Grow! Festival ÎÎComeÎcelebrateÎtheÎgreatÎoutdoorsÎ andÎyourÎfamily’sÎplaceÎinÎit!ÎTheÎeventÎ featuresÎup-closeÎencountersÎwithÎanimalsÎ andÎnatureÎasÎwellÎasÎinteractiveÎart,Î musicÎandÎhealth-boostingÎactivitiesÎthatÎ willÎgetÎfamiliesÎhavingÎfunÎoutdoors! When:Î10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ2:00Îp.m. Where:ÎSt.ÎDavid’sÎCenterÎGrounds,Î Minnetonka Cost:ÎFREE Info:ÎÎorÎ 952-548-8627

2 SunDAy Minnesota Renaissance Festival ÎÎSeeÎdescription,ÎSaturdayÎtheÎ1st. When:Î9:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ7:00Îp.m.

Fall Colors Fine Art & Jazz Festival ÎÎSeeÎdescription,ÎSaturdayÎtheÎ1st. When:Î10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ5:00Îp.m.

8 SAtuRDAy Autumn at the Audubon Fall Open House & Fair ÎÎEnjoyÎaÎfree,Îactivity-filledÎdayÎofÎ

familyÎfunÎonÎtheÎshoresÎofÎGrindstoneÎ Lake.ÎWildlifeÎprograms,ÎappleÎciderÎ pressing,ÎclimbingÎwall,ÎzipÎline,ÎfaceÎ painting,ÎartÎandÎcraftÎfair,ÎscavengerÎ hunt,ÎandÎmuchÎmore.ÎChiliÎlunchÎisÎ availableÎforÎpurchase. When:Î10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ2:00Îp.m. Where:ÎAudubonÎCenterÎofÎtheÎNorthÎ Woods,ÎSandstone,ÎMN Cost:ÎFREE Info:ÎÎ orÎ320-245-2648

Chloe’s Fight 5k Family Run/Walk to Cure MLD ÎÎThisÎ5KÎfamilyÎrun/walkÎaroundÎLakeÎ NokomisÎwillÎraiseÎfundsÎtowardÎfindingÎaÎ cureÎforÎmetachromaticÎleukodystrophyÎ (MLD).ÎOneÎhundredÎpercentÎofÎtheÎ proceedsÎwillÎgoÎtoÎtheÎMLDÎfoundation.Î AÎpost-raceÎfamilyÎeventÎwillÎbeginÎaboutÎ 9:30,Îapproximately. When:Î8:00Îa.m.Îregistration;Î 9:00Îrace/coffeeÎwalkÎbegins Where:ÎLakeÎNokomis Cost:ÎVaries,ÎseeÎwebsiteÎforÎdetails Info:Îchloesfight.orgÎorÎ952-457-6956

Saturday Live! Music with Ross Sutter ÎÎDiscoverÎaÎvarietyÎofÎchildren’sÎsongsÎ fromÎAmericaÎandÎNorthernÎEuropeÎwithÎ theÎguitar,Îaccordion,Îdulcimer,ÎandÎIrishÎ drum.ÎJoinÎinÎtheÎfunÎwithÎaÎlotÎofÎaudienceÎ participation—singing,Îdancing,ÎandÎ playingÎinstruments. When:Î11:15Îa.m.ÎtoÎnoon Where:ÎSt.ÎPaulÎPublicÎLibrary,Î CentralÎLibrary Cost:ÎFREE Info:ÎÎ orÎ651-266-7034

15 SAtuRDAy Minnesota Parent Education Fair ÎÎChoosingÎtheÎbestÎschoolÎforÎ yourÎchildÎcanÎbeÎaÎdifficultÎtask—letÎ Minnesota ParentÎlendÎaÎhand!ÎThisÎisÎ anÎopportunityÎtoÎmeetÎrepresentativesÎ fromÎaÎvarietyÎofÎschoolsÎandÎafter-

schoolÎprogramsÎtoÎhelpÎyouÎmakeÎtheÎ bestÎdecisionsÎforÎyourÎchildren.Î When:Î10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ2:00Îp.m. Where:ÎComoÎParkÎZooÎVisitorsÎCenter,Î St.ÎPaul Cost:ÎFREE Info:Îmnparent.comÎorÎ612-825-9205

Saturday Live! RADZOO ÎÎAnÎinteractiveÎandÎinformativeÎ presentationÎfeaturingÎaÎdozenÎreptilesÎandÎ amphibians,ÎincludingÎfrogs,Îturtles,Îlizards,Î snakes,ÎandÎaÎsmallÎalligator.ÎEveryoneÎwillÎ haveÎaÎchanceÎtoÎtouchÎaÎreptileÎatÎtheÎend. When:Î11:15Îa.m.ÎtoÎnoon Where:ÎSt.ÎPaulÎPublicÎLibrary,Î CentralÎLibrary Cost:ÎFREE Info:ÎÎ orÎ651-266-7034

nature Family Fun with ECFE—Fall Leaves ÎÎMakeÎnatureÎdiscoveriesÎtogetherÎandÎ meetÎnewÎfriends!ÎThisÎclassÎisÎofferedÎinÎ collaborationÎwithÎEarlyÎChildhoodÎandÎ FamilyÎEducationÎstaff.ÎParentsÎstayÎwithÎ theirÎchild(ren)ÎduringÎtheÎentireÎclass. When:Î10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ11:30Îa.m. Where:ÎMaplewoodÎNatureÎCenter Cost:Î$5ÎperÎchild Info:ÎÎorÎ 651-748-7280

16 SunDAy target Free 3rd Sundays at the Minnesota Children’s Museum ÎÎThanksÎtoÎtheÎgenerosityÎofÎTargetÎ Corporation,ÎvisitorsÎcanÎroamÎtheÎ MuseumÎfreeÎofÎchargeÎeveryÎthirdÎ SundayÎofÎeachÎmonth.ÎMCMÎsuggestsÎ leavingÎstrollersÎatÎhomeÎorÎinÎtheÎcar.Î When:Î9:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ5:00Îp.m. Where:ÎMinnesotaÎChildren’sÎMuseum Cost:ÎFREE Info:Î

October 2011 41

Out about 22 Saturday Pumpkin Palooza ÎÎCheckÎoutÎtheÎdisplayÎofÎpumpkinsÎ insideÎtheÎOswaldÎVisitorsÎCenterÎandÎinÎ surroundingÎlandscapes.ÎWatchÎmasterÎ pumpkinÎcarversÎandÎlearnÎpumpkinÎ growingÎtips,ÎalongÎwithÎotherÎfunÎevents. When:Î8:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ6:00Îp.m. Where:ÎMinnesotaÎLandscapeÎ Arboretum Cost:Î$9Înon-members;ÎmembersÎandÎ ageÎ15ÎandÎunderÎareÎFREE Info:Îwww.arboretum.umn.eduÎ orÎ952-443-1400

Saturday Live! Brodini Comedy Magic Show ÎÎDoÎaÎtrickÎorÎtwoÎwithÎtheÎmasterÎofÎ illusionÎwithÎthisÎfabulousÎallÎagesÎmagicÎ show! When:Î11:15Îa.m.ÎtoÎnoon Where:ÎSt.ÎPaulÎPublicÎLibrary,Î CentralÎLibrary Cost:ÎFREE Info:ÎÎ orÎ651-266-7034

ZooBoo ÎÎComoÎZoo’sÎgroundsÎareÎtransformedÎ intoÎaÎstorybookÎparadiseÎwhereÎflowersÎ canÎtalk,ÎpiratesÎofferÎhugs,ÎandÎtheÎtigersÎ canÎdance.ÎSureÎtoÎdelightÎallÎyourÎlittleÎ monsters,ÎguestsÎfollowÎaÎboooo-tifulÎtrickor-treatÎpath.ÎHighlightsÎincludeÎpumpkinÎ bowling,ÎcraftÎactivities,ÎandÎmore. When:Î4:30ÎtoÎ7:30Îp.m. Where:ÎComoÎParkÎZoo,ÎSt.ÎPaul Cost:Î$6Îadvance,Î$7ÎatÎtheÎgateÎandÎ underÎageÎtwoÎareÎFREE Info:Îcomozooconservatory.orgÎorÎ 651-487-8226

23 Sunday Pumpkin Palooza ÎÎSeeÎdescription,ÎSaturdayÎtheÎ22nd When:Î10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ6:00Îp.m.

ZooBoo ÎÎSeeÎdescription,ÎSaturdayÎtheÎ22nd When:Î4:30ÎtoÎ7:30Îp.m.

28 Friday Big top Chautauqua ÎÎChautauquaÎOriginalÎMusicalsÎcaptureÎ theÎessenceÎofÎlivingÎinÎtheÎMidwestÎthroughÎ originalÎmusic,ÎstoriesÎandÎlarge-screenÎ historicÎimages,ÎwithÎsongsÎaboutÎtheÎGreatÎ Lakes,ÎtheÎpeopleÎandÎtheÎland.ÎForÎitsÎ25thÎ anniversary,ÎtheÎbigÎblueÎtentÎisÎtakingÎtoÎtheÎ roadÎwithÎaÎlineÎupÎofÎgreatÎentertainment,Î includingÎtheÎBlueÎCanvasÎOrchestra. When:Î7:30Îp.m. Where:ÎMankatoÎStateÎcampus,ÎMankato Cost:Î$9Îstudents;Î$18Îadults Info:Îbigtop.orgÎorÎ888-big-tentÎ

ZooBoo ÎÎSeeÎdescription,ÎSaturdayÎtheÎ22nd When:Î4:30ÎtoÎ7:30Îp.m.

29 Saturday Ghouls & Goblins at the Maze ÎÎDressÎupÎinÎcostumeÎandÎhaveΓspookfriendly”Îfun.ÎWalkÎtheÎhalf-mileÎTrickÎ orÎTreatÎTrail,ÎthenÎheadÎbackÎtoÎtheÎ VisitorÎCenterÎforÎfamilyÎactivitiesÎandÎ “spooktacular”Îmusic.ÎSeeÎtheÎamazingÎ PumpkinÎPaloozaÎandÎScarecrowsÎonÎ ParadeÎcharacters. When:Î1:00ÎtoÎ5:00Îp.m. Where:ÎMinnesotaÎLandscapeÎ Arboretum Cost:ÎArboretumÎgateÎadmissionÎisÎfreeÎ duringÎeventÎhours,ÎbutÎregistrationÎisÎ requiredÎ Info:ÎÎ goblins.aspxÎorÎ952-443-1400

Saturday Live! Our Feathered Friends ÎÎThroughÎhands-onÎinteractiveÎ exploration,ÎchildrenÎlearnÎaboutÎtheÎ differentÎgroupsÎofÎraptorsÎandÎmeetÎthemÎ

42 October 2011

upÎclose,Γnose-to-beak.”ÎChildrenÎlearnÎ whyÎTheÎRaptorÎCenterÎisÎimportantÎandÎ whatÎtheyÎcanÎdoÎtoÎhelpÎraptorsÎandÎtheÎ worldÎweÎshare. When:Î11:15Îa.m.ÎtoÎnoon Where:ÎSt.ÎPaulÎPublicÎLibrary,ÎCentralÎ Library Cost:ÎFREE Info:ÎÎ orÎ651-266-7034

no Bones about it! ÎÎLearnÎaboutÎanimalÎbonesÎandÎskulls.Î HandleÎskullsÎandÎlearnÎhowÎtoÎidentifyÎthem.Î CreateÎaÎnon-edibleÎsugarÎskull,ÎthenÎhikeÎtoÎ lookÎforÎsignsÎofÎwildlifeÎonÎtheÎNatureÎCenterÎ trails.ÎBringÎyourÎskullÎhomeÎtoÎdecorateÎlater!Î BestÎforÎchildrenÎagesÎsixÎandÎup. When:Î10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ11:30Îa.m. Where:ÎMaplewoodÎNatureÎCenter Cost:Î$5.00ÎperÎchild,Îpre-payÎbyÎ OctoberÎ26 Info:ÎÎorÎ 651-249-2170

ZooBoo ÎÎSeeÎdescription,ÎSaturdayÎtheÎ22nd When:Î4:30ÎtoÎ7:30Îp.m.

30 Sunday ZooBoo ÎÎSeeÎdescription,ÎSaturdayÎtheÎ22nd When:Î4:30ÎtoÎ7:30Îp.m.

31 MOnday ar-BOO-retum day ÎÎCheckÎoutÎtheÎdisplayÎofÎpumpkinsÎ insideÎtheÎOswaldÎVisitorsÎCenterÎandÎinÎ surroundingÎlandscapes.ÎEveryoneÎarrivingÎ inÎcostumeÎisÎadmittedÎFREE! When:Î8:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ6:00Îp.m. Where:ÎMinnesotaÎLandscapeÎ Arboretum Cost:Î$9Înon-members;ÎmembersÎandÎ ageÎ15ÎandÎunderÎareÎFREE,ÎasÎareÎ thoseÎwearingÎaÎcostume Info:Îwww.arboretum.umn.eduÎ orÎ952-443-1400

childcare/education 43 • home 43 party pages 44-45 • retail 45

• miscellaneous 44 • new & expecting moms 44

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October 2011 43

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44 October 2011

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October 2011 45 7/28/11 11:52 AM

Real life “There’s a lot of funny things in this book. Look. It’s an evil talking toilet.”

This is pretty cool in a few ways. Also, this squid. This piece de-attaches. Bleeeaaaaa—guess what’s inside? A beak! All squids have beaks. You have quite a few books, too. Can you tell me about them?

I have all of the Captain Underpants books. Guess what—there’s a new one called The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers. That’s the new one. I like Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Talking Toilets. There’s a bunch more. I have all of them except the new one, but my dad ordered it and we’re going to get it! These books seem kind of gross, Ben.

There’s a lot of funny things in this book. Look. It’s an evil talking toilet. There’s Super Diaper Baby and Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future. Look at this: about the author. Dav Pilkey. A little kid wrote this. He created Captain Underpants. How was swimming today? real Kid

Benjamin S. A third grade student at Concord Elementary, Ben was saying goodbye to summer as we began our chat. He’d just gotten back from a morning at the nearby Edina Aquatic Center and was braiding a string bracelet when I arrived. Talk about toys and books ensued, and in the process he also encouraged me to pledge money for the walk-athon he would be participating in

Q&a So tell me about some of your favorite toys.

organization that has been

Can I show you my LEGOs? (He gestures with both arms as he enters his room, replete with flame edged curtains, surfboard wallpaper, and Legos scattered every which way.) LEGOs, LEGOs, and more LEGOs!

helping victims of the summer

What’s your favorite LEGO model?

through his kid’s club, to benefit The Neighborhood Hub—an

tornado in North Minneapolis. — Kathleen Stoehr

46 October 2011

Well, this is an awesome ship I have. It has lots of compartments. I’ll show you in just a sec. I have to put the missiles in.

I went when it was seven minutes before it opened and there was only like 15 people! We had the whole pool to ourselves practically. There were only a few people at the diving board and two people at the slides so there was this part of area we had all to ourselves. I can only go to the deep end if I have a lifejacket. I lost one of my toys in the kid pool. I’ve been trying to find it. It’s trapped under a plastic thing. There’s a plastic square with a tiny rim. I dropped my toy and it floated under there. After that, an air bubble sent it floating to the top so now the air bubble is still in it and it just goes bonk, bonk, bonk against the top. It’s stuck. I was about three years old and I still haven’t gotten it back. It’s not in the lost and found. I think it’s still floating in there somewhere. [Sighs] Maybe someday I’ll get it back. Real Life is an opinion page and not necessarily the opinion of this magazine. Want to tell us a little bit about your life? Email

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October 2011  
October 2011