Little Wayne County Magazine – June/July 2018

Page 1

Premier Issue!


J U N E / J U LY 2 018 ISSUE ONE

$ 2 .9 5


Summer Fun in Wayne County!

In the ‘D’

We visit Little High Flyers children’s boutique in Midtown Detroit



Detroit | Downriver | West Side T H E P R E M I E R M A G A Z I N E F O R WAY N E C O U N T Y M O T H E R S , C H I L D R E N , A N D FA M I L I E S


Marketing Director

313-681-5772 ext 1 robbin @ Facebook | Twitter | Instagram @littlewaynemag

As the most comprehensive Wayne County publication for families, Little Wayne offers extensive editorial breadth while maintaining a local focus. Contact Robbin Moyer at 313-681-5772 ext 1 to Advertise in Little Wayne County

little / welcome

contents JUNE / JULY 2 018


Hello neighbor! Welcome to our premier issue


June & July are full of amazing events and shows to share with little ones



The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix is a family affair


Encouraging local youth to focus on STEM education

28 HEALTHY PREGNANCY Learn about the benefits of exercise throughout pregnancy



Q & A with Brian Ritson, artist and author of activity books for kids

20 THE FUTURE’S BRIGHT You’ll love the fresh and modern looks at midtown Detroit’s Little High Flyers


Create a style with sense of fun with these new additions

June/ July 2018

GOOD WORKS 34 IT TAKES A VILLAGE Local organization promotes effective parenting | 5

Great Start to preschool, and

Quality early

“We’ve received a Four Star rating!”

helps families find quality childcare, Great Start to Quality helps families find quality childcare, education and development centers. preschool, and early education and development centers.

Infants • Toddlers • School Age Programs Curriculums Utilized • Creative Curriculum • High Scope Curriculum • Touch Math

Security Features

• Cameras In All Classrooms • Biometric Check-In System • Intercom Door Access

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Hello Neighbor!

elcome to Little Wayne County Magazine. Our hope in starting this publication is to bring families from all edges of Southeast Michigan together by focusing on what in-

terests them. From Detroit to Northville, Hamtramck to Grosse Ile, every city has communities large and small filled with families from all walks of life. Our goal is to highlight what makes Wayne County special and connect with families in every community. Within these pages, we not

only present an inside look at your favorite businesses but also introduce you to up and coming ones we love and believe you will too. Just like any good friend, we share stories and recommendations to help you enjoy everything our community has to offer. Join us in exploring all things family friendly in Little Wayne County!

Sundra Hilsinger Editor

NOTE: Little Wayne County is distributed throughout Southeast Michigan via direct mail, rack distribution, lobby copies, subscriptions, and single issue sales. Contact us at 313-681-5772 or visit our website,, to get a copy sent directly to your home or office.


June/ July 2018 | 7

agenda L I T T L E WAY N E

IndyCar driver Will Power his wife Liz and son Beau

10 • WHAT’S ON

Amazing events to share with your little ones!


The Detroit Grand Prix is a family affair


Encouraging local youth to focus on education

June/ July 2018 | 9

What’s On

June and July are full of amazing events and shows to share with little ones

Story Time

Barnes and Noble, Allen Park Throughout June 2018

Hear a special story and enjoy activities every Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Barnes and Noble of Allen Park in their Children’s Department.

Sunday Funnies Mitten Theater

Through June 2018

Enjoy over an hour of improvised, family-friendly comedy at The Mitten Theater. You can see this show every Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $5.


Belle Isle

Conservancy Belle Isle Park, Detroit Summer 2018

A must-see when on Belle Isle is the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. See exotic and rare plants in any one of their five sections for free at the oldest continually-running conservatory in the United States. • 10 |

June/ July 2018

Family Activity Series Charles H. Wright Museum May 19 - June 16

Enjoy the Charles H. Wright Museum for free every second and third Saturday of the month. Activities could include art, music, dance, and more!

little / agenda EDITOR’S PICK


Wednesdays - Sundays

Get a taste of Michigan’s great outdoors in the heart of the city. Located in the historic Globe Building on Detroit’s riverfront, the Outdoor Adventure Center invites you to bring the kids and experience exciting outdoor adventures with hands-on activities, exhibits, and simulators. Walk behind and touch a waterfall, step into a fishing boat, hit the trail on a mountain bike, and much more.


The Robot Garage

Visit with Detroit International Academy for Young Women

Summer Camp 2018

Race days: June 1-3

Week long classes throughout the summer

uild, play, and learn about engineering and robotics at the Robot Garage in Grosse Pointe. This family owned and operated business provides high-quality and consistently fun, hands-on experiences through the use of STEM, LEGOS and other building systems from around the world. They also host a Kid’s Night Out and Minecraft Night every month where kids can come and play while you get a night to yourself.

he Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear returns to Belle Isle June 1st through 3rd. IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver Christina Nielsen will host girls from the Detroit International Academy in her wheelhouse. There will be live concerts and plenty of family fun in the Meijer Fan Zone. Look for Little Wayne Magazine in the fan zone too!




3 To D o ’ s t h i s S u m m e r

Library Playgroup

Astronomer Show

BASF Kids’ Lab


Wayne State Planetarium

Second Saturday of each month

Michigan Science Center

This free playgroup provides a developmentally supportive environment to play and expand children’s strengths.

Learn about the night sky and outer space. This show is free and designed with little ones ten and under in mind.

Learn about chemistry and perform experiments. This month, explore how chromatography can be used to solve some silly mysteries.



Pontiac Public Library

June 2018

June/ July 2018 | 11

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Beau’s Family


lthough the glow of the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has faded, car aficionados and racing fans alike can look forward to the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear taking place on the Raceway at Belle Isle on June 1st through the 3rd. As always, the NAIAS provided a great opportunity for the Motor City to bring folks from all over the country (and further) to see the latest trends in the automobile industry. Amidst the excitement which always permeates the NAIAS, people visiting on Family Day, Friday, January 24th were treated to a visit from IndyCar racing legends, Will Power and Rick Mears. The history of racing in Detroit goes back at least as far as 1982 when the first Grand Prix was held here. Since then, the show has come and gone and undergone several changes. It has also grown in both attendance (with last year seeing an estimated 100,000 attendees) and spending alike with

A 12 | June/ July 2018

Photography Parker Smith

a record-breaking $58 Million in total spending. The 2018 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear is ready to surpass the success of last year’s races by once again featuring the only doubleheader weekend on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, aka the Chevrolet Duel in Detroit, the return of Comerica Bank Free Prix Day, a new reserved grandstand seating area and a host of other exciting improvements fans will be delighted by. Over the last few years, the city of Detroit has undergone numerous changes such as the addition of the QLine running along Woodward Avenue between Congress Street and West Grand Boulevard and the building of the Little Caesars Arena which brought basketball and hockey under one roof. Belle Isle, home of the Prix in Detroit, has also undergone its own updates, quite a few of which can be credited to General Motors. “We’re proud of what we’ve done and continue to do on Belle Isle, with over 13.5 million dollars kind of dedicated to the island and the improvements we’ve done there. A lot of our partners are on board

Will Power with his wife Liz and son Beau

Juggling a career and family is difficult enough for anyone, but even more for those like Power who spend so much time away from home, luckily his family will be traveling with him.

Beau Power with his dad, IndyCar driver Will Power

with helping us improve Belle Isle which is kind of our main regime,” says Merrill Cain, Public/Community Relations Director at General Motors. Although always family friendly, racing has become even more so with a crop of younger drivers who have grown up racing and are starting to have families of their own. Will Power, who stopped by the NAIAS to meet fans and sign autographs, is one of those drivers. Power’s wife, Liz, has been known to follow him on the road since 2014 and joining them will be their son Beau who just turned one last December. The Australian racer has strong ties to Detroit, having won the Chevy Dual in Detroit twice with hopes to do it again at this year’s Prix. “I always enjoy racing [at Belle Isle], it’s a big deal for our team cause it’s Chevrolet and Roger Penske’s home race, so we’ve got the pressure on to perform,” says Power. “You know, when I’m on the track it’s funny, you’d think it would be kind of there, but it just doesn’t enter your mind. When you get in the car, you kind of just focus on what you’re doing,” says Power on whether his feelings for racing have changed since the birth of his firstborn. “My wife, she was already a nervous wreck at the races, chew14 | June/ July 2018

ing on water bottles. I don’t think anything’s going to change there.” Juggling a career and family is difficult enough for anyone, but even more for those like Power who spend so much time away from home, luckily his family will be traveling with him. “It’s definitely easier with them being on the road. Whenever I have to go away and do stuff like this I just wanna get home. I mean it’s amazing how much you miss being home once you have a child.” Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, agrees that having family on the road is beneficial

for athletes of this particular sport. “I think it gives them piece of mind. When they go back after a tough day, after a tough qualifying, after a tough practice and walk into that motor coach, it’s different than when they’re by themselves when they have someone to look at,” says Denker. “So, I think it provides them a whole new outlet of relief and just decompressing because when you’re in a racecar, and you’re going 180 miles an hour, it’s a very stressful thing, a very dangerous thing. But you walk out of it, you walk into your motor coach, and you have a family there.” This increase in families of drivers following their loved one on the road is somewhat new for Indy Racing. In the past, most racers left their wives and children at home and Denker says, “we have a lot of millennials now, with different priorities and different perspectives on things and family is very important to them.” Because of this change in drivers, the environment of racing has altered as well. “It’s interesting, it’s the evolution of their lives, right? So, most of the athletes bring their motor coaches to the track, they never have to leave the track that way. You know, they’re always there cause they’re there for three or four days, so many of these tracks now have services that take care of the children because their wives are now involved, and the drivers, of course,

have the job to do,” says Denker. “So, we’ve seen a lot of services evolve over the years also, from babysitting to taking care of the kids to education services as well that have developed over probably the last six to eight years I’d say. These drivers come through the ranks. We’ve got a driver that’s 18 years old, we’ve got a driver that’s 21 years of age. These guys all started at those ages and now their married and have kids.” Fortunately for drivers, this is a sport that is very supportive of their lives outside of racing. “Well the key thing is, you gotta remember, we love ‘em having kids as long as they don’t go slower,” jokes Denker. “We just ensure they have the time for [their family] that they need. We balance our schedules for a race weekend based on the amount of time they need with their families, we take that into account. So, we’re very savvy about, that and they gotta have time. They have to have [time for work] as well. but we balance that. It’s not one dimensional.” Racing, like any other sport, is one that kids often grow up partaking in. “You start with a little go-kart, and gokart racing here in the US is huge,” says Power who grew up around racing with his father being an open wheel racer. He says that he won’t push his son into racing but will support him if he chooses to follow in his father’s footsteps. Denker says “all these athletes started when they were young kids. Their parents got them into it maybe at six, seven or eightyears-of-age. From there it became a way of life. They chose karting versus baseball, basketball or any other sport.” This year’s Detroit Grand Prix will be a great opportunity to bring any children who may dream of someday being a driver. If not, at least there will be tons of fun games and activities on the beautiful island of Belle Isle.

The 2018 Chevrolet Grand Prix presented by Lear returns to the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, June 1-3. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $40. Fans can learn more about the Grand Prix and get their tickets by visiting or by calling 866-464-PRIX (7749).

ROBBIN MOYER CMO, Marketing Director 313- 681- 5772 ext 1 | Facebook @LittleWayneMag | Twitter @LittleWayneMag

June/ July 2018 | 15


Comerica Bank senior vice president Monica Martinez, Detroit Grand Prix presented chairman Bud Denker, and IMSA champion race car driver Christina Nielsen visit with Detroit youth to stress the importance of STEM curriculum Story Sundra Hilsinger

16 | June/ July 2018


Photography Tyler Holloway

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I think we can learn from every situation…so, always be open to taking in new knowledge. n Wednesday, February 28th, roughly thirty middle school girls from the Detroit International Academy for Young Women, assembled in their school’s auditorium for a surprise they won’t soon forget. They had been told they were going to interact with a panel consisting of Comerica Bank senior vice president Monica Martinez, chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear Bud Denker, and International Motor Sports Association champion race car driver Christina Nielsen. The students were not aware, however, that they were also being invited on an exclusive field trip to the Grand Prix in June to see STEM lessons applied to racing.


The girls were also told that while they are at Belle Isle they will also visit Nielsen’s garage. “You’re gonna come to my team, and you’re gonna spend some time seeing what goes on behind the scenes, what our team does. I don’t want you to get discouraged by all the men because there’s a lot of men there,” said Nielsen, who knows firsthand how male-dominated this industry is having just become the first woman to win a major full-season sportscar championship in North America in 2016. Nielsen expressed how important STEM is to racing, and encouraged the girls to focus on their education. “It can actually determine a race win. So yes, a lot of people on my team are men, but that doesn’t mean that couldn’t be you guys in the future.” But Nielsen isn’t all talk; she practices what she preaches and received a bachelor’s degree in

Marketing and Communication’s Management. “I decided to go for that because I thought it was interesting, plus to be a racecar driver, to be the full package it’s not enough to just go fast in a car. Nowadays you wanna be a good brand representative… and being educated has definitely helped me in that department of what I do. And I think we can learn from every situation…so, always be open to taking in new knowledge.” When the conversation steered to the importance of having role models, Nielsen wanted to impress upon the students that they have another strong female role model in Martinez. “You guys could also be in the future…representing a company that’s going to be so kind to sponsor this event. So, you’re going to bring this kind of representation [to] girls in the future,” said Nielsen. Martinez, who explained that being able to provide this opportunity to the girls is important to Comerica because of their dedication to investing in the future, told them that when she was their age she had no clue what she wanted to be. “I didn’t know, and originally I was going to be a teacher. And it was through opportunities like this where people came and spoke at my school that I decided I was going to go into international business,” said Martinez. She told the girls that people discouraged her because of the

June/ July 2018 | 17

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Even though [racing] was filled with boys, it didn’t matter. I wanted to do it, so I did it. dangers of international travel for women. “But that didn’t stop me or deter me,” she said. As Denker puts it, having role models like Nielsen and Martinez proves how effort and perseverance pay off, “We call it at Pensky: effort equals results,” he said. Neilsen adds, “Be your own role model. Set expectations that you want to live up to, not just what you see other people do.” To shake things up a, the girls were also fired a few quiz questions by Denker such as, “If Christina’s racecar goes five miles-pergallon and she has one and a half gallons in her tank, how many miles will she go?” After some hushed whispering and a few wrong answers, seven and a half was called and the girl who answered, as well as a few other girls who answered other questions correctly, was rewarded with a Verizon IndyCar Series die-cast model car. When the conversation returned to serious talk, Nielsen told the girls about her start in racing. “I got into racing when I was about 13-years-old,” very close to these girls age. “It started because I went to a random rental go-kart place. I went and drove one of those, and I absolutely fell in love with it. I thought it was the best feeling in the whole entire 18 | June/ July 2018

world and I loved the competition.” Nielsen also said, even though her parents didn’t introduce her to racing, they were her biggest supporters and raised her with the mentality that ‘there’s nothing you can’t do.’ “So, racing was no different for me. Even though it was filled with boys, it didn’t matter. I wanted to do it, so I did it.” To drive the point home, Neilsen asked the group if they have ever been told there’s something they can’t do. When one girl said dace and another said rap, Neilsen replied, “Do you like to rap? Does it influence you when people tell you can’t do it? Yeah? You should do it anyway. See I drive racecars because I think it’s fun. I don’t do it because someone told me I should or because some-

one told me I couldn’t. It’s because I like to do it. And you like to dance, you like to rap, so do it.” When they opened the discussion for questions, several students raised their hands. They asked questions like, what kind of training does Nielsen do to get ready for the racing season, what kind of safety features are in her car, and does she feel any added pressure being a woman in a maledominated sport? To the last question, Nielsen responded that she does, but not as much as from other sources. “Social media puts a lot more pressure on young girls.” She also talked about the power of words and the mentality behind the way you say something, “When you say to do something like a girl…it actually means that you do it bad because you do it like a girl. It’s not nice to say that just because you’re bad at something it’s because you’re a girl you must be bad at it. Are you more of a boy or a man if you do well at it? I don’t think so; I think we can be good at it and be women.” The assembly concluded with several girls from the robotics team, the Pink Panthers, presenting and demonstrating the awardwinning robot they built from scratch, Ms. Packwoman. As they wrapped up with some final group photos, everyone was looking forward to June 1st when they would see Nielsen again, this time on her turf.


LITTLE HIGH FLYERS ~in Midtown Detroit A children’s boutique

offers a unique combination of fashionable and ethical pieces that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. Little High Flyers was born from Corina Baldwin’s desire to curate items from small businesses across the globe that are not only unique and trendy, but also conscious about the environment and workers.



You’ll love the fresh & modern looks at Detroit’s Little High Flyers


Create a style with sense of fun with these curated selections

June/ July 2018 | 19

The FUTURE’S Bright ~

You’ll love the fresh and modern looks at midtown Detroit’s Little High Flyers

20 | June/ July 2018

“All [the] brands I bring usually make their products in the country of origin or fair trade in different countries [where] those materials are more accessible,” says Little High Flyer owner Corina Baldwin. “At the same time, I did not want to sacrifice in style and I find brands that are organic, but also fun because that is what childhood is all about.”

little / style

Little High Flyers

Styles & Products from across the globe Little High Flyers was born from Corina Baldwin’s desire to curate pieces from small businesses across the globe that are not only unique and trendy but also conscious of the environment and the workers.

A children’s boutique in Midtown is bringing a combination of fashionable and ethical pieces that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. •

Get The Look

Create a style with sense of fun



Wild animal sleep masks from Estonia and “Give me a Detroit Fist Bump” t-shirts made right in Detroit show the reach of Little High Flyers products.



These soft onesies are easy to put on and very comfortable for your baby. Available in blue or pink and covered with adorable baby elephants.

Nom Nom Jewelry Jewelry for Mom that’s stylish and safe for baby to chew on. Save yourself from hair pulling, also great for teething mouths & oral stimulation.

June/ July 2018 | 25

Friendly Staff. Excellent Service. Beautiful Smiles. We take great satisfaction in helping you maintain optimal oral health. Our practice is dedicated to comprehensive and preventive patient care. Our patients are our most important asset, and we strive to develop long lasting, trusting relationships with all of our patients.

Improving Lives Through Dentistry Jackson Snider Parker Dentistry, PLLC Appointments:


254 West Rd. Trenton, MI 48183

The Best Care for your Best Friend Military, Senior & New Client Discounts! Services General vet medicine, on-site laboratory, ultrasound, X-ray, digital radiology, dentistry, dermatology, soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, preventative health care, grooming, boarding, and microchipping.

Pet Bathing Special SAVE $10-$15 each Wednesday! Pet bathing for short-haired dogs and cats. Includes: brushing, drying, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and preventive flea treatment.*


We have added COLD LASER THERAPY for Arthritis and Post Operative Pain Management for your Best Friend!

4448 Biddle Ave. Wyandotte MI 48192 (734) 284-6466 * Pet Bathing Special applies to short-haired pets that do not require and hair clipping.

WAH Hours: Mon & Fri: 9-5; Tues, Wed & Thurs: 9-7; Sat: 9-2; Sun: Closed


LITTLE WAYNE MAG ~ is a period of For many of us, summer

renewed productivity akin to the New Year. We set goals like lose weight, meet new people, or get creative. Whatever you want to accomplish this summer, we hope we can help inspire you to achieve it, we’re rooting you on!


28 • A HEALTHY PREGNANCY Benefits of exercise throughout pregnancy

32 • STRAIGHT TO THE ART Brian Ritson’s activity books for children


Organization promotes effective parenting

June/ July 2018 | 27

A Healthy


Maintaining regular exercise throughout your pregnancy can be just as beneficial to mom as a healthy diet Edit Sundra Hilsinger

28 | June/ July 2018

Photos Tyler Holloway

PREGNANCY DOESN’T HAVE to slow you down! Just look at Tenna Cathey of Detroit Fitness Hub. At 27 weeks, she’s still working out regularly. Tenna’s been a personal trainer for six years and says she got into fitness while in college. “I went to school in Chicago and was living a very unhealthy lifestyle. My self-esteem was low and I had to do something about it. So, I started working out, started a blog out there and then decided I wanted to do it fulltime and started teaching classes and training.” From there, she got certified, started teaching Zumba and has “just been running ever since.” Upon moving back home, Tenna opened Detroit Fitness Hub, a co-working fitness and event studio in the Eastern Market. “Detroit’s home…and there’s family here. And, with the whole transition Detroit’s been going through, it seemed like a nobrainer.” Tenna specializes in prenatal fitness, balance and core stability, post- rehab training, and is also a healthy habits coach. “The baby hasn’t slowed me down.” For most women, pregnancy signals an onslaught of change. It can be scary to imagine working out with pregnancy symptoms. “[My] first trimester was really rocky and rough, the second trimester I was like ‘okay.’ I started gaining my energy back and felt good working out. Now, going into the third, I’m starting to slow down because I’m gaining more weight.” As her babybump grows, Tenna says her workouts have been scaled back a bit. “But I think that just comes with the territory. [I’m] just making sure that I’m healthy.” Maintaining regular exercise can be just as beneficial to mom as a healthy diet. “Having a good workout regimen helps with your stress levels, helps with your weight gain, and your energy levels,” says Tenna. Working out has

other values as well. While strength training prepares you for the extra weight you will carry later on in pregnancy, cardio helps you build the endurance you will need for labor. “You do have to push yourself to do it, but you also have to make it work for you. Cause if you have kids or you’re running a business or working a nine to five, you kind of have to make that work for you. If all you have is 10 minutes, cool. That’s why I [suggest] moves where you combine two moves in one. You want it to be efficient and effective at the same time.” Before you begin working out, it’s important to consult your OBGYN. “As long as you consult your doctor and if you’re working out with a professional it should be okay.” The key though is to never push yourself to a point where you can’t recover. If you start to feel abnormal, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. “[Because this is] my first pregnancy I had to ask people ‘is this normal?’ Ask other moms or ask your doctor. You don’t even have to go in, just call. Sometimes [being uncomfortable] is normal just from the growing pains and gaining weight, but if you are doing a workout and it’s too much for you, definitely tone it down.” One aspect of fitness to focus on is balance training. “You can just trip on air,” warns Tenna. “You have more weight in the midsection, so your balance is going to be off.” She also recommends that you don’t neglect lifting weights. “Strength training is going to help you maintain, muscle tone. It will help get your heart rate up, and you can incorporate cardio into your strength training. When baby comes, you don’t want a weak upper body. You want to maintain that a little bit, to carry your baby and toddler.” For women who enjoy running, they can keep going. “Whatever

Static lunge with an overhead press Go down then come up and press. Tenna “This is also good for a nice booty!”

Tricep kickback to a knee lift Knees are slightly bent, core is strong, keeping arms to the side, do a kickback. Then stand up nice and tall and bring the knee up. Tenna “Because balance is a huge issue, it’s working my balance, and it’s going to get my heart rate up. Of course working my legs and triceps at the same time.”

Plie or Sumo squat Squat down and come back up to a bicep curl. Good for lower body. Working the hips and joints, keeping them strong. Tenna “You don’t have to go super fast. You also don’t have to use weights. If you have a toddler, you can grab your baby [and lift them]…they love it!”

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you were doing before you can still do it. You may not be able to go as hard as you were before but you can still definitely do it.” If you prefer guided classes, prenatal yoga is very popular and low impact. For guided classes, Tenna recommends letting the instructor know you’re pregnant so that they can modify workouts for you to ensure you and baby stay safe. If you weren’t working out regularly before pregnancy, it’s generally still safe to start in the first two trimesters. If you are in your third trimester and want to start exercising, its best you seek guidance from a trainer and take things very slow. Then, six weeks after birth, you can start working out gradually, granted you take it slow and consult your doctor. Although exercise has many benefits for pregnant women, they should not rely on it as a tool for weight loss. “So if you are already overweight before the pregnancy, [your] doctor will recommend that you adopt a healthier diet. Cut out the fatty foods, especially fried food and sweets, and then start working out. You might lose a little bit but you’re not gonna shed off an astronomical amount of fat like you would if you weren’t pregnant,” says Tenna. Tenna also highly recommends that you surround yourself with women who share your experience. “If you know any other women that are in their pregnancy, reach out to them. Work out with them because it’s better when you have a support system. Cause there’s going to be days where you don’t feel like it. And it’s fun because you guys can work out and vent about your pregnancy together.”

Detroit Fitness Hub is located at 1343 E. Fisher Fwy., Floor 3, Detroit, MI 48207. Find out more about their programs at

Side leg lifts Lift your leg, squeeze your butt and then lower. Tenna “Good for legs, glutes and core.”

Pushups This depends on how your big your belly is, you don’t have to go all the way down, or you can do it against the wall. Tenna “It could be a 15-minute work-out. You definitely do not have to take an hour out of your day to work out.”

little / arts ‘n’ crafts


rian Ritson is a local independent artist and instructor at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). He works in the museums classrooms teaching students about art, concepts, and creativity. A single father, Brian balances work, his art, and parenting on a daily basis. Brian has also created book covers and advertisements and has his own coloring book, At Calendar’s End.


32 | June/ July 2018

Artwork Brian Ritson

Little Wayne Mag: What kind of instruction do you do at the DIA? Brian Ritson: WWe have drawing sessions, drop in workshops, and we want the families to interact and we’re there to just kind of facilitate. There’s also the DIA Away, where we do workshops out in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb County to let people know that the DIA is still here and that it is free for anyone living in those counties. LWM: How would you describe your drawing style? BR: Mainly cartoonish, comic booky. I can do realism, but it wasn’t as fun for me anymore so I’ve strayed away. LWM: Do you have any projects you’ve been working on recently? BR: I have a coloring book out and have been working on a children’s book. It’s just finding the time to sit down and get some work done is difficult. But I’m almost done with a book cover as well. LWM: Who are your inspirations? BR: My favorite artist is Alphonse Mucha, who was the king of the art nouveau movement. He did a lot of illustrations and advertisements. LWM: When did you realize you wanted to become an artist?

mama / travel

I think the process of making and doing is as important as the end result BR: When I was five. I have always been creative. My Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Miller, would rave about my art. She set me on my path. She told me I was going to be an artist. I have never forgotten that moment. LWM: What is your process for making art? BR: My process typically is creating thumbnail ideas. Small thought bubbles on paper if

you will. Rough sketches that eventually turn into detailed drawings. Then I typically ink a copy of the drawing. Then I scan it into the computer, then color or paint it in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. LWM: How do you balance being a single parent and an artist? BR: It can be very tough. I do not have any family nearby for support. I do my art when time allows. I would love to be able to have the time to work everyday. But my son comes first, if he has a need I have to sacrifice my art time to assist him in his endeavors. If I am feeling depressed or tired, I just have to work through it. Get the job

done and move on to the next assignment. Life just happens and I just flow with it. LWM: What do you enjoy most about working with kids? BR: I just like the way they see things. They’re so creative. They don’t have any filters and just go with it and you see it and just think “Wow, I wish I could think that freely again.” LWM: Do you have any advice for kids who might want to be an artist? BR: Art is a skill you develop so don’t get discouraged. You just have to keep building on it every day. LWM: As an artist and a parent, what is your advice for parents who see their kids starting to get into art? BR: Inspire them. Sign them up for classes, get them tutors, bring them to the DIA. There’s so much you can do. Encourage them in perusing it; they’ll love it or fall out of it, but you need to let them explore it.

June/ July 2018 | 33

little / good works


“It takes a village to raise a child,” is one of the most heard adages regarding parenthood and easily one of the truest. Usually, our village is composed of friends and family, but that limits our support system to the number of people we know and depend on. What if there was a way to meet other parents who not only live in the same city as you but are actively working to improve themselves and the community? You would want to be a part of that village. Parents and primary caregivers of children between the ages of four and seventeen can connect with other parents by joining the Detroit Parent Network (DPN). The DPN is a premier parent organization with the goal of promoting effective parenting and raising successful children. Their Mission Statement, found right on their website home page, is powerful and inspiring; “A network of parents working to build and engage parents and others to ensure every child has a champion.” The DPN was founded in 2002 by Sharlonda Buckman who began by simply knocking on Detroit doors to get parents engaged. Since then, membership has grown from just a handful of members to over 800. In the past eight years, they’ve supported 7,700 students with college access and pre-college experience and introduced Pathways to Literacy to reinforce parents as the child's first teacher, serving more than 1000 participants over the past four years. In partnership with Detroit Public Schools and other school districts, they facilitated the Parent Teacher 34 | June/ July 2018

Meet others who are working to improve themselves and their community Home Visitation Program to bridge the relation between home and school by encouraging teachers to visit parents in their home or community. Members of the DPN and are given free access to training, workshops and parent support groups. While non-members are welcome to enroll in any of the programs, they must pay the enrollment cost. Also included in that membership is a DPN Member Card that offers discounts to local area merchants, bi-monthly newsletters and a dis-

count to the Annual Parent Leadership Conference. Having a place to connect with other parents is a benefit. It’s great to get advice and share experiences with other adults who live in the same area. At the same time, this allows your children to connect with other children whose parents are both interested in the betterment of the community. There are two types of programs offered by the DPN: The Core Programming which includes several courses in leadership, and the Education Programming which focuses on parent involvement in student’s academics. Parents can go online, call or visit their office to join and get additional details on the program. Membership dues are $10 plus a requirement of five volunteer hours.

Early Childhood Education with Exceptional Standards Kids Love to Learn A child’s brain develops 85% from birth to the age of five. “The absorbent mind,” the perfect opportunity for education that lasts a lifetime. Our Curriculum Includes: practical life skills, social and emotional development, language, phonic awareness, reading, numeral recognition, math, culture, world art, science, arts & crafts, dramatic play and playtime.

The Program Includes: social and emotional development, grace and courtesy, etiquette and manners, yoga, bully awareness, stranger danger and learning to express our feelings.

Children’s Place MONTESSORI

of GrosseIle and Brownstown Children’s Place Montessori of Grosse Ile and Brownstown is an Associate School Affiliate of the American Montessori Society and licensed with Michigan State Child Care Licensing.

Grosse Ile


9393 Church Rd. | Grosse Ile

19721 Allen Rd. | Brownstown



Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Hours: 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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