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April 2016




5 things Dorian Murray has taught the world Summer Program & Camp Guide

Girls on the Run Empowering girls to always move forward Runners Courtney Rainey and Anaejah Battle, both 11, from Providence

How music helps kids focus


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine



Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

Contents April 2016 / vol. 1 / no. 9

8 16

Departments 6 A Note from the Publisher Remembering Dorian Murray. 10 My Turn The magic of music on children’s focus. 12 Education Computer science in schools; The Talk Bracelet.

14 Ask Dr. Day Care Your questions answered.

18 The Healthy Child Healthy Kids Poster Contest.


Features 8 Cover Feature:

Girls on the Run

26 Kid of the Month Running without fear.

28 Calendar Things to do in April.

16 In Memory of

Don’t forget to tell our advertisers you saw them in

Rhode Island Parent Magazine!

A local program making a difference in the lives of girls.

Dorian Murray

5 things Dorian Murray has taught the world.

20 Summer Program & Camp Guide

Plan your children’s time for school breaks and summer! New programs/camps added each month.

ON THE WEB: We are working on our website to make it a great place to get even more information about parenting and kids in Rhode Island. The magazine is available digitally online at issue.com/RIParentMag (great for reading on a tablet, phone, or computer) and you can join our Facebook and Twitter pages. Visit www.RIParentMag.com, Facebook.com/RIParentMag, and Twitter.com/@riparentmag April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


A Note from the Publisher


write this not long after the sad news came that Dorian Murray had passed away in his parents’ arms. This one 8-year-old boy touched so many people all over the world through his dreams and personality. Really, I think that cancer lost in this case. Dorian’s mother announced on Facebook that she plans to write a book and asked for any stories about how her son touched people’s lives. You can send written stories to: PO Box 1225, Westerly RI 02891. After his death, I read many things written about and to Dorian, but came across one at www.RIBlogger.com which I thought was so simple but so true. It was written before Dorian passed but it made me think so I asked its writer, Jennifer Geaber, if we could publish it in the magazine. You can find it on page 16. These are lessons to live by. Don’t miss our cover story this month about a fantastic organization called Girls on the Run, which empowers girls in new and unique ways. That story is on page 8. And we’ve added new listings in our Summer Program & Camp Guide. Turn to page 20 and see what else your kids could do this summer. Running a magazine has been an amazing change in my life and more than that, I love being an entrepreneur. I’ve learned a lot about business, and I’m happy to see how much we are growing. In March, we increased our circulation by 1,000 to 15,000 and we now have 400 distribution points all over Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. We continue to get calls from businesses to advertise and are so grateful for that support. This magazine is definitely a labor of love and I hope you can feel that. Happy spring!

Susan Gale

57 Rolfe Square, Suite 10094 Cranston, Rhode Island 02910 (401) 337-9240 Publisher/Editor Susan Gale publisher@RIParentMag.com Art Director/Graphic Designer Rob Kenney artdirector@RIParentMag.com Copy Editor Sheila Flanagan editor@RIParentMag.com Business Manager Lisa Koulibaly sales@RIParentMag.com Advertising Sales (401) 337-9240 sales@RIParentMag.com On the cover: photo by Kimberly Dobosz of Kimberly Dobosz Photography. kimberlydoboszphotography.com Publisher photo taken by Keith Jochim. KeithJochimPhotography.com Rhode Island Parent Magazine is published monthly by Gale Force Communications. Unless specifically noted, no advertisers, products, or services are endorsed by the publisher. Editorial submissions welcome.

©2016 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

Like us on Facebook and Twitter: Facebook.com/RIParentMag @RIParentMag


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Cover Feature By Susan Gale

Running towards empowerment f


etting 16 girls, ages 8 to 11, to focus and participate in one activity is no easy task, unless you are the Girls on the Run program. This international program has 15 sites in Rhode Island and plans to continue growing. It started locally in 2012 with two sites and 34 girls. Today, it serves 450 girls annually in twice weekly programs that are mostly based at schools. But don’t be fooled by the name. “We are not a running program. Running is used as a creative vehicle to build confidence, build self-esteem,” said Jacklyn O’Hara, executive director of the program. “We teach about body image, bullying, nutrition, self-awareness, community service, and healthy relationships – supporting all different areas of challenges and social/emotional issues girls face.”

Developing empowered, confident girls

On the day we visited the program at Pleasant View Elementary School in Providence, a gaggle of excited girls gathered in a classroom. They were bright and inquisitive, unafraid to ask visitors pointed questions. “Why is it called Parent Magazine when it’s about kids?” one asked. The lesson was on negative self-talk. The girls gathered in a circle around Alyssa Mason, a City Year/AmeriCorps member at the school. Whenever Alyssa said something that was negative talk, the girls stepped forward, crowding her, and when positive, they stepped back. The lesson, as one girl put it: when it’s negative self-talk, “you have all that weight on top of you and when it is positive you have more space to breath.” “Our job is to not use negative self-talk and to help other girls to not use it too,” Alyssa told the group, helping them to think up ways they could warn each other when they hear negative self-talk. The term “meow” was preferred by the girls, meaning “me” and “ow!,” as a way to tell someone else they are using negative self-talk. All of the coaches, as they are called, must pass a course in the curriculum used by Girls on the Run, as well as CPR and first aid training. Many coaches – there are more than 100 of 8

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

them – are teachers at the schools where the programs are run, and coaches do not have to be runners. Girls on the Run can be found at all sorts of schools, in cities and suburbs, at public schools and private ones. Part of the program is also a small service project. Some girls do bake sales and donate the money earned or clean up a local park.

Using running to teach lessons

Later, outside, the girls formed two lines far across from each other. One group ran to the other and said a negative talk line while the other group changed it to positive, replacing “I can’t do this” with “Just do your best and try.” Then they switched sides. Adrianna Gonzalez, 10, said she isn’t being bullied in or out of school, but it weighs on her mind as a possibility. “The exercising and making new friends is what I like best,” she said. “I like staying in shape a lot so people won’t bully me around.” “They teach us life lessons,” said Courtney Rainey, 11, telling a story about how the girls put toothpaste on their finger and then tried to put it back in the tube – a lesson about spreading rumors or talking mean about others. “Once you put it out in the world, on the Internet or when you say it, you can’t take it back,” she said. Courtney’s running buddy, Anaejah Battle, 11, agreed the program is needed. “Nowadays a lot of girls are feeling bad about themselves,” she said, noting that she has brought some of the lessons home to her cousins. “We all care about each other.” Dr. Gara Field, or “Dr. G.,” as the girls call her, is principal of Pleasant View Elementary. “This program is transformational in so many ways. It supports the whole mission of the school and brings out some things in kids they didn’t know they had.” she said, noting that Girls on the Run was helping one child to overcome fears and another to lose weight. “The girls are creating relationships, learning to believe in themselves while having a goal to set that they can accomplish.”

t for girls

To donate or get information about the Girls on the Run 5K and 1-Mile Family Fun Run on May 22 at Colt State Park, Bristol, go to their website:


Girls don’t even have to run

Girls on the Run encourages running but walking or skipping is fine too – as long as they are moving forward. Each location has their version of a “lap” based on their facilities. At Pleasant View, it is a dead end street that is blocked off. For the last half hour of the program, after warming up, the girls run, happily gathering a pipe cleaner for every lap they do. The pipe cleaners are then strung together into a chain and hung in a hallway of the school. The 10-week program, which runs in the spring and fall, leads to a public 5K race which will be May 22 at Colt State Park in Bristol and attracts about 800 people. A familyoriented one-mile run will also be held that day. “It’s a celebratory race. It’s not about who finishes first, it’s not even timed,” said O’Hara. “For plenty of girls it’s daunting to think they are going to run three miles, but they all finish whether they walk or run, however they get there. It’s a powerful moment to watch them cross the finish line, the looks on their faces. And all the girls stay at the finish line until the last girl comes in to support each other.” Each girl utilizes a running buddy – a trusted adult – to help them get through the 5K. “What’s funny is usually our girls are encouraging the running buddies to finish,” said O’Hara. The 5K is a fundraiser for Girls on the Run and the money from registrations goes back to the program. Girls on the Run also accepts donations. O’Hara said they provide 40% of girls with financial assistance to take part in the program. For Elsy Hernandez, 8, the program has given her positive changes, especially with legs that hurt from growing pains. “You get a lot of exercise and they support you a lot. Some people don’t support other people,” she said. “I feel a little taller because I’m running a lot and I feel way better than I used to.”  Susan Gale is Publisher/Editor of Rhode Island Parent Magazine.

Photo by Kimberly Dobosz, www.kimberlydoboszphotography.com

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


My Turn By Julie Garnett

Hocus Focus:

The Magic of Music


ocus: an elusive word to many a parent of a young child. There are many studies and much research showing the correlation that music has directly on a child's learning ability. I have personally observed this correlation in action. Not just on music’s magical ability to assist them in learning, but more so, on their ability to focus! For the majority of my life, I have been a singer/ songwriter/musician, entertainer, and teacher. After 25 years of teaching piano, and entertaining young children, I've observed a few interesting facts. The first and foremost fact I learned was about focus.

An early lesson in focus and children

During my first children's concert, at a library, I took my guitar and arsenal of kids’ songs that I'd known my whole life, and began to sing. Their first reaction: eyes wide with wonderment. Their second reaction, basically, “That’s nice, now what can I play with around here?” I had lost – to my shock and horror – their focus! Even my glorious voice and guitar ability couldn't quite hold them … sigh. I decided to make a project of this defeat (that's what it felt like to me, anyway). I realized that, even as they roamed off like little sheep in need of a border collie, the music kept them boppin' to the beat in their pursuits of something to do. So I learned right then and there to give them something to do. My next concert was at an elementary school with approximately 150 children under the age of six. I pre-recorded back-up music and sang “Count 'em Up,” and, they did! They also did whatever I sang at them to do. My shows became totally interactive. The music enveloped them, and they had to focus on each song to know what to do – pay dirt! No more serenading, unless it's with my lullabies. I began making sure that my songs were fun, of course, but also had educational components. The speed at which they learned the musical lessons was amazing.

Music is for all kids

Another time, I was booked to do a concert for an audience of special needs children. This was new musical territory for me. I didn't want anyone to feel bad if they were not physically capable of doing what some songs were asking. I was a little intimidated. I decided to approach many of them individually before the show began. Aside from their various disabilities, 10

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

they were no different from any other child in any other audience that I had ever entertained. They were open to the world around them, simply with different levels of challenges. So, I decided I would not treat them any differently. I jokingly bossed them around like I do with all my audiences. No condescension. I saw wonderful things happen the moment the music began to play: swaying, smiling, clapping, rocking to the beat. After the show was over, a teacher approached, pushing the wheelchair of a severely disabled young boy who, I had noticed, vocalized pretty loudly and frequently throughout the show. She had tears in her eyes as she told me this was the first time, since he had been with her at the school, that he had ever made a sound. Now, believe me, I would like to say it's my stupendous performance abilities that led to this wonderful occurrence. However, after many more concerts with children that had similar challenges, I observed that the ability of musical sound to envelope the listener, especially a young child, is magical. It grabs their attention and causes them to focus.

Music lessons motivate kids to focus

The last observation I will share with you is about music lessons. The effect of music lessons on a child's mind is the equivalent of fruits and vegetables on a child's health. I cannot count how many times the parent of one of my piano students has said to me, “I can't believe my child stayed focused for 30 minutes!” One mother, who sat and observed the end of her son’s piano lesson, literally had her mouth open. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and was struggling to concentrate in his classes at school. She told me this was the first time she had ever seen him focus so intently. The simple fact is you cannot play the piano (or any instrument), unless you focus on the music. So, encourage your children to keep music, in all forms, as a part of their childhood. Its benefits are simply … magic!  Rhode Islander Julie Garnett is a singer/songwriter/musician, entertainer, and teacher. She is available for concerts. Her new album, Pooped, which includes rest time songs and lullabies, is available now. www.JulieGarnett.com

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine



Need help talking to your daughter?


local woman has developed a keepsake designed to help mothers communicate with their teenage daughters. Muria Nisbett’s daughter, Tinisha, now 17, was bullied when she was in sixth grade and was so depressed that she thought about hurting herself. But she didn’t tell her mother about her feelings, believing that her mother wouldn’t understand. For Nisbett, the experience was confusing and scary. “It took me a while but I realized that our talks were mostly her listening and me talking. I was always the one to select the topics and lead the conversations,” said Nisbett, of Woonsocket. “Maybe if I had let her talk more and if I had listened more she would be more inclined to talk to me about what was going on in her life.” So, Nisbett, along with her daughter, developed The Talk Bracelet, a combination diary and charm bracelet, which comes packaged together. The diary outlines the ageappropriate talk that mothers and daughters can have each year starting at age 12 and provides room for writing.

The charm bracelet is added to each year. Examples of charms include the first one, a snowflake “to remind your daughter how truly unique and special she is,” and the last one at age 18, which is a guardian angel “to protect her as she goes off into the world as an adult.” The entire package then becomes a keepsake for the daughter of her teenage years. The Talk Bracelet, $99, includes the diary, charm bracelet, seven charms, download of a song, and a keepsake box. It can be purchased online at www.thetalkbracelet.com. 

Computer science classes in every school


nly 1 percent of Rhode Island public high school students are enrolled in computer science (CS) courses today, but a new initiative aims to change that quickly. The Computer Science for Rhode Island (CS4RI) project seeks to ensure that every public school teaches CS classes by December 2017. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training projects that there will be more than 4,000 openings in goodpaying computer and math jobs by 2022. "Part of turning our economy around and creating jobs is making sure every student, at every level, has access to the new basic skill: computer science. Thanks to the partners we have assembled for this initiative, I know we can achieve this goal,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. The effort, coordinated by the Rhode Island Innovation Office at Rhode Island College (RIC) in partnership with

the RI STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Center at RIC, and the RI Department of Education, takes a coalition approach by combining national leadership with local expertise. CS4RI relies on involvement by the philanthropic and business communities. Governor Raimondo's current budget proposal includes $260,000 to support the initiative. Schools will be able to choose courses offered by Microsoft, Code.org, Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, and others. A team of computer science experts from Microsoft will team-teach with local instructors for two years, and General Assembly, a national provider of CS training, will collaborate to develop a pilot teacher CS boot camp. Code.org, a national nonprofit, will offer teacher training and a computer science curriculum for grades K–5 at no cost to the districts. 

For more information on the Computer Science for Rhode Island project, visit governor.ri.gov and click on CS4RI. 12

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Ask Dr. Day Care: Advice for Parents By Mary Ann Shallcross Smith, Ed.D.

Dr. Day Care answers your questions about children from infancy to school age. Send questions to: editor@RIParentMag.com or ask them on facebook.com/RIParentMag.


Dear Dr. Day Care, My nephew is almost eight months old and is still sleeping in the same room as his mother, who is having issues with separating from her baby. She started working from home when the baby was born. She doesn’t allow the baby’s father to take his son out on his own, even though he is a great caretaker. In order to keep the peace, the baby’s father is going along with this, but is not happy that this situation is happening in his family. Is there such a thing as developing an emotionally unhealthy attachment to your baby? - Concerned Auntie


Dear Concerned Auntie, Some parents protect their children with their innate knowledge of being the best parent they know how to be. If a parent has not had training or education in child development, they tend to raise children as they learned and observed in their lifetime. A child who grew up in a home where they were allowed to sleep with their parents will most likely allow their children sleep in their adult bed. This choice of childrearing can create conflict. Many changes happen when a new baby enters a family and some changes don’t exist until the baby is there. Most of the time there is no way to predict these situations until it is actually happening in a family setting. 

Child not sleeping in their own bed

In all my years in child care, children sleeping in their own beds and toilet training tend to be the topics parents request help with the most. From an infant sleeping perspective, the brain of a baby is developing. At about five to eight months of age, a cognitive development stage known as peek-a-boo develops in which a baby realizes when their parents leave a room, their parents still exist. This stage is also referred to as Object Permanence or Object-Person Permanence.  Because a child's brain is developing, children will remember the cuddles and hugs shared with them in their parents’ bed and most children will want to return for more of that type of nurturing. Sometimes this can lead to crying for long periods of time until they are picked up and brought to the comforts of their parents’ bed. So if Mom and Dad allow their child to sleep in their room overnight, this habit will last for a long time and will most likely be very hard to change.


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

Agree together on a solution

It sounds to me like Dad feels left out of childrearing because Mom wants to be consistently present in the child’s life. Mom doesn’t seem ready for Dad to be part of his child’s life due to how she interprets being a mom. The best parenting practice is to have both parents be a part of their child's life.  My suggestion is for Dad and Mom to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk about both being involved in their child's life. Together they need to come up with a schedule that works for each parent, and it’s important that they both agree to make the change. If, after they sit down to discuss their feelings, Mom continues to not allow Dad time with his child, I suggest reading child development books such as Child Behavior of Human Development by Drs. Ilg, Ames, & Baker. If the conflict persists, I suggest couples counseling. It's been my experience in working with families that as much as a parent may want to change, something in their emotional background is making it difficult to do so.

Establish good sleep habits early

At 10 months old, a child takes up more room in a family bed compared to a younger baby. At two years old, toddlers are tossing and turning. This leads to everyone in the bed not getting a full night’s sleep. Yet the child’s sleeping habit has been established at a very young age and it is difficult to undo that child’s learning experience. For additional advice on how to get a child to sleep in their own room, read Dr. Richard Ferber, MD’s excellent book Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems.  “Dr. Day Care” is Mary Ann Shallcross Smith, Ed.D., CEO/ President of Dr. Day Care and Kids Klub, which has locations in Cumberland, Foster, Pawtucket, Providence, Smithfield, West Warwick, and the newest location in South County. She is also a children’s book author: Edgar Graduates. www.drdaycare.com

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Feature Story By Jennifer Geaber

5 things Dorian Murray taught the world Editor’s note: We were all saddened in March to hear of the passing of Dorian Murray, the spirited 8-year-old whose wish to be famous was heard – and answered – around the world. Dorian was diagnosed with cancer at age 4. When the cancer became incurable, he told his parents he wanted to be famous on the “bridge in China.” He meant the Great Wall of China, but because he could not travel there, he adjusted his goal and said that before he went to heaven, he would “try to be famous as much as I can.” Through the power of social media, people all over the world took photos or filmed themselves holding signs that said #DStrong – the moniker that came to symbolize his courage and their support of him. Today, more than 128,000 people follow his Facebook page and mourned when his mother wrote of his passing. The following column, which was written before Dorian passed, first appeared on www.RIBlogger.com and is reprinted here with permission.


orian Murray is a little boy who lives in Westerly, Rhode Island. This little boy has a dream … to be famous in China. Guess what, he is! And, he is famous all over the world. The world has come together to help this little boy’s dream come true. Dorian suffers from a rare form of muscle cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. His family has decided to stop treatment as the cancer has spread to his spinal fluid. What the world has done for Dorian is incredible, but even more astounding is what Dorian has done for the world. We owe it to this incredible young man to take the lessons he has taught us and keep the momentum moving in a positive direction. Dorian showed us:

1: 2:


Dreams do come true! Dorian has a dream, to be famous in China. In the blink of an eye, #DStrong signs walked the Great Wall of China in support of this brave boy. On the days when you feel like dreams don’t exist, think of Dorian and remain #DStrong. Good people are everywhere! People from all walks of life and all ages have showed up to support Dorian as he fights for his life. From NFL superstars to news anchors to those with big hearts, Dorian has become an inspirational household name. He is also helping the world to see that good people are everywhere. Keep your eyes open, stay #DStrong and see the good in people all over.

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

3: 4: 5:

Live now! We are not promised tomorrow, yet our minds are always in the future. Life is now, it is happening as you read this. Promise to be #DStrong and live your life to the fullest, because now is the only guarantee you have. Live life! Be grateful for what you have and as Michael Franti says, “Hug somebody at least once a day!” We are one! We are one world and when people band together we can make the world a better place. Dorian has shown the entire world that we can come together to make a difference. Stay #DStrong and help make the world a better place for all. One person can change the world! Dorian has changed the world for the better. Not only has his dream been accomplished but he has taught the entire world that it only takes one person, one dream. Dorian, you are an amazing soul and the world has become #DStrong because of you, you are remarkable. You have changed the world, Dorian Murray! 

Jennifer Geaber blogs at www.RIBlogger.com, which is dedicated to providing community members with information about Rhode Island’s local businesses and events.

The Dorian J. Murray Foundation The parents of Dorian Murray have established a charity foundation (its nonprofit status is pending) in their son’s name to fund research and raise awareness of pediatric cancer while also supporting families of children diagnosed with cancer. To contribute to the Dorian J. Murray Foundation, send checks to: PO Box 1225, Westerly, RI, 02891.

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


The Healthy Child

GET HEALTHY Poster Contest will award local kids


he 2016 Rhode Island GET HEALTHY Poster Contest offers kids the chance to win prizes and have their poster displayed at the Rhode Island State House as a way to influence lawmakers to support policies that promote access to healthy foods and active play. The contest, sponsored by the local chapter of the American Heart Association (AHA) and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, is open to students in grades K–5. The poster must highlight both the child’s favorite physical activity and favorite healthy food. Entries will be judged for creativity, effort, and strength of message. Parents and teachers can request a contest kit that includes poster-sized card stock or the poster can be downloaded online. Teachers whose students participate in the contest will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Target gift card to purchase school supplies or equipment. Prizes will be awarded in two age categories – grades K–2 and grades 3–5:

1st Place: $100 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card and 4 passes to Roger Williams Park Zoo 2nd Place: $50 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card and 4 passes to Roger Williams Park Zoo 3rd Place: 4 passes to Roger Williams Park Zoo Winning posters will be displayed at the State House on May 25 and featured on the local AHA’s Facebook page. Contest deadline: April 29, 2016 Award ceremony: May 25, 2016 For information: LeeAnne DeCarlo, (401) 228-2323 or leeanne.decarlo@heart.org Online: www.southernnewengland.heart.org/ postercontest/ Social Media: www.facebook.com/sneheart and www.twitter.com/sneheart

Your Ad Here (401) 337-9240 sales@RIParentMag.com


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Active Learning Services


Rocky Hill School, 530 Ives Road, East Greenwich 1-888-652-4377 ​www.activelearningcamps.com Fun enrichment camps for chess and video game creation that help develop critical thinking skills and improve creativity so important to the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. See ad, page 23.

ummer reaming D

Summer Program & Camp Guide


hoosing the right summer program or camp can

take time, so it’s not too early to think about what your kids will do this summer. Or even, during April school break. To help you, Rhode Island Parent Magazine offers the following Summer Program & Camp Guide, in alphabetical order. Check out the programs and camps for many fun things to do.


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

Adventure Zone

Drop off & pick up in Coventry (401) 487-9331 www.advzone.org Explore, Discover, Have Fun. Mobile adventure-based youth enrichment program that provides new and exciting outdoor opportunities for campers (rock climbing, surfing, kayaking, biking, and much more). Our programs encompass many types of challenges, ensuring that each camper is able to find an experience that suits their level. And because our programs are designed to build upon one another, returning campers are able to try new adventures and further their personal growth–year after year. Ages 6–15. Visit website for early specials, schedule, and price chart.

Artists’ Exchange

50 Rolfe Square, Cranston (401) 490-9475 www.artists-exchange.org Fantastic day camps for the creative mind! Art, Theater, Rock 'N' Roll, and Ceramics. Ages 5–15. Camps start June 20th, and run through August 26th. Monday–Friday, 9am–3pm, before and after care available. See ad, page 7.

Dream Big Academy

41 Comstock Parkway, Cranston 70 Industrial Road, Cumberland (401) 228-8946 www.dreambiggym.com A high-energy, fun-filled, 1/2 day or Full Day Camp  Experience. Boys and Girls ages 4 and up will be placed in age- and level-appropriate groups with qualified coaches to learn gymnastics skills, play games, do crafts, and play outdoor water activities. Thrilling zip line and Super Awesome 20-foot-high waterslide at our Cranston location! Extended day available. See ad, page 4.

Community Boating Center

India Point Park, Providence (401) 454-7245 www.communityboating.com Two-week youth sailing camps offered June-August, Monday-Friday, 9 am-3:30 pm. NEW one-week Save The Bay Camp. Two age groups, 8–11 years old and 12–16 years old. Waterfront “Sailabration” skippered sailing events, room/deck rentals, youth afterschool programs, and evening or weekend adult lessons, recreational sailing, and NEW kayaking also available. See ad on this page.

Girl Scouts

Glocester; West Kingston; Newport; Swansea, MA (401) 331-4500/1-(800) 331-0149 www.gssne.org Day and overnight summer camps with a girl-empowered focus! Archery, swimming, canoeing, rock wall, ropes course, sailing, etc. Financial aid available. See website for Camp Catalog, being released in February. Registration opens in March. See ad, page 24.

Kingston’s Camp on Larkin’s Pond (401) 783-8620 www.kingstonscamp.com See ad on this page.

Mother of Hope Camp

1589 Putnam Pike, Chepachet (401) 568-3580 www.motherofhopecamp.com American Camp Association Accredited, Traditional, Co-Ed Day Camp on Beautiful Echo Lake in Chepachet for Boys & Girls ages 5–12. Camp offers Archery, Arts & Crafts, Canoeing, Daily Prayer, Hiking, Low Element Challenge Course, Nature Exploration, Pet Stewardship, Sports, Swimming, and Weekly Mass. Free Convenient Busing for Neighborhoods around RI. Affordable Tuition. Early Bird and Sibling Discounts. Open House: Sunday, 5/15, 1–4 pm. See ad on this page.

RISD Young Artists

2 College Street, Providence (401) 454-6200 CE.RISD.EDU Summer is busy at RISD, where kids shape their creativity and imagination, and teens develop their personal style as artists and designers. Camps and classes for kids and teens ages 6–17. See ad, page 23. (continued on next page) April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Rock Spot Climbing

100 Higginson Avenue, Lincoln, (401) 727-1704 1174 Kingstown Road, Peace Dale, (401) 789-SPOT www.rockspotclimbing.com ​Indoor rock climbing is an amazing experience that ​is both fun and great exercise for kids of all ​ages, ​fitness ​levels, and experience. Classes run different ​days/times. See website or call for info. See ad, page 7.

Roger Williams Park Zoo

1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence (401) 785-3510 www.rwpzoo.org Campers ages 4–13 enjoy fun-filled days at Roger Williams Park Zoo in age-appropriate programs. Younger children learn to explore the natural world while tweens/teens learn to become conservation leaders. More affordable than many vacation options, small camper-to-counselor ratios, optional after care and pre-paid lunch offerings. Details and easy registration on the website. Discount for RWP Zoo members and another discount when siblings are registered in the same account.

South County Movement Center

335 Woodville Alton Road, Hope Valley (401) 539-2512 www.southcountymovementcenter.com South County Movement Center will have 4 weeks of Camp this summer. June 27–July 1: Skills and Thrills Camp for competitive team gymnasts; August 1–5: Princess Dance Camp; July 18–22: Safari Gymnastics Camp; August 15– 19: Wild West Gymnastics Camp. Ages 4+. Camp times: 1/2 day camp: 9 am–12:30 pm or 1:30 pm–5:00 pm; Full day Camp: 9 am–5:00 pm. You provide the child, we provide the fun. Great way to keep kids active throughout the summer. Kids work on balance and coordination, play group games, have snacks, make crafts, and learn fun and exciting new skills! See ad, page 17.

Stepping Stone Ranch

201 Escoheag Hill Road, West Greenwich (401) 397-3725 www.steppingstoneranch.com See ad, page 23.


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

Summer J-Camp at the Dwares JCC

401 Elmgrove Avenue, Providence (401) 421-4111 www.jewishallianceri.org June 20–August 19, Monday–Friday, 9 am–4 pm. For children ages 2–15. Welcoming all faiths and backgrounds. We offer a variety of activities with themes including mystery, creepy crawlers, space, and Olympics. Schedules filled with assorted sports, swim lessons, art, cooking, science, drama, field trips, and more. Lunch and snacks are included. Early arrival and extended day options; half-day options for 2–5 year olds; sibling and early bird discounts; payment plan options; counselor-in-training opportunities for teens.


170 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick (401) 463-5565 www.teamworkswarwick.com See ad, back cover.

To The Pointe of Performing Arts

Cranston: 999 Oaklawn Avenue (401) 942-5554 North Providence: 1525 Smith Street (401) 354-0054 Coventry: 2435 Nooseneck Hill Road (401) 385-9500 www.tothepointeofperformingarts.com Dance Camps & Summer Dance Classes: Fun weekly day camps include full day/half day options for ages 3–16. Recreational or intensive camps available. Reasonable rates. Healthy snacks provided. Campers learn dance techniques in various styles as they relate to the camp theme, make arts n’ crafts related to the theme, and perform in a minirecital on the last day of the camp. Lots of fun and very educational. Great teaching staff. All camps are offered in air-conditioned rooms at any of our three locations. Exact dates and age groupings will be listed on our website on the SUMMER CAMPS page. Registration is accepted by phone or online. Regular fee waived if your child is signed up by May 1st. See ad, page 15.

YMCA of Greater Providence

Barrington; Cranston; Warwick; Peace Dale; Seekonk, MA See ad or website for site telephone numbers www.ymcagreaterprovidence.org Day camps, pre-school camp, specialty camps, overnight camp. Fun, adventure, excitement, and new friends. We nurture campers in a challenging and supportive environment where safety is a top priority. All programs directed by full-time YMCA staff. Financial aid available. See ad on inside cover.

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


What to pack for camp Check with your camp to see if they have a suggested list of items to bring, or use this list to help make sure you don’t forget anything. Hat, bandana, sunglasses, sun block, lip balm with SPF Swimsuit, swimming goggles, swim shirt with UV protection, swim shoes Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, soap, shampoo, wash cloths, shower shoes Rain gear, umbrella, warm clothing, extra clothing including socks and underwear Sneakers, hiking boots, flip flops, sandals, extra pair of shoes Hand towels, beach towels, tissues, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, eyeglass cleaner Flashlight, spare batteries, insect repellant, first aid kit Laundry bag, plastic bags for small or wet items Reusable water bottle or canteen, small backpack or tote for day trips Sleeping bag, bedding, blankets, pillow, tarp, air mattress Writing paper, pre-addressed envelopes, stamps, pens/pencils Books, deck of cards, games, camera, spending money


Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


Kid of the Month By Susan Gale

No obstacles can hold this girl back


lexis Fernandez, 10, loves to run. She participates in Girls on the Run, a program that uses running to achieve a bigger goal of boosting self-confidence in girls. Watching Alexis run down the road, a wide smile on her face, her braid flying behind her, she appears confident and happy. The difference between Alexis and the other girls in the program? Alexis is blind. Being blind doesn’t slow Alexis down, however. She runs with someone next to her, either holding lightly to their arm or following their voice about direction. Her fourth grade teacher, Kelley Stanton, remembers that Alexis was tentative the first time she participated in Girls on the Run, but that quickly went away as her confidence grew. “In the last Girls on the Run race, she started dead last and was passing people,” Kelley said. Alexis likes school classes where she gets to do things – art, gym, music. She writes her own stories and loves reading books using Braille, a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers. She participates in a Braille Challenge where kids compete in areas such as spelling and reading comprehension. Girls on the Run has drawn her out of herself and helped her to make more friends.

“It’s really fun to get to learn how to work together and solve problems,” she said. “In the beginning, I was negative talking myself – saying I can’t do it – but I kept getting more and more laps.” This Christmas, Alexis received a watch that talks to her. “I love checking the time so I can get things done in time. To know what’s happening, if it’s almost lunch or time to go home. I used to have to ask people but now I do it myself,” she said. Teacher Kelley says Alexis has a great sense of humor and enjoys playing pranks on her classmates. “Sometimes she’ll put her jacket over her head and walk around. Everyone reacts like, Alexis, be careful, you can’t see where you are going!” Then they laugh when they remember she is blind, a factor that doesn’t hold Alexis back. 

Kid of the Month Alexis Fernandez, 10, works with other girls in a Girls on the Run group. (Photos by Kimberly Dobosz, www.kimberlydoboszphotography.com) 26

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

Members of Girls on the Run warm up. (Photo by Kimberly Dobosz, www.kimberlydoboszphotography.com)

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


April 2016 Our calendar is as up-to-date as possible at press time. Be sure to check information with event sponsors for updates/ changes. To submit calendar items for May and beyond, please email them to editor@ RIParentMag.com.

Special events

4/6: Workshop Wonders. “Using

the Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, Secure Kids.” Light dinner and free child care. Advance registration required for child care. To register, call 401-533-9285 or email cpirotto@meetingstreet.org. 6–8 pm. Meeting Street, 1000 Eddy Street, Providence. Free. www.meetingstreet.org/seminars

4/14–5/1: Fairy Garden Days.

Explore more than 100 fairy garden homes, an outdoor Gnome Village, lady bug releases, scavenger hunts, and more. Tuesday–Sunday, 11 am–4 pm, except Saturdays, 11 am–1 pm. Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence. $5/adults; $2/children 6–12; free/ children under 6.

4/18–4/22: Vacation Week at the

Animal Experiences Animal expert Dave Marchetti of Animal Experiences brings his show to the Providence Children’s Museum on Monday, April 18. Meet an awesome assortment of live animals. Children will have close encounters with dozens of furry friends, slithering snakes, and other incredible creatures, and learn fascinating facts about them. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Shows at 11:30 am, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm. 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/ children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org [Animal Experiences does birthday parties and events. See their ad on page 25.] 28

Providence Children’s Museum. 100 South Street, Providence. April 18: Animal Experiences; April 19: EcoExplorers; April 20: Wingmasters; April 21: Imagination Playground; April 22: Farm Friends. $9/person; free/ children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org

4/19: Julie Garnett’s “I’m Pooped!”

Lullaby Concert. Bring your favorite teddy bear and wear your jammies during the West Warwick Library’s “Teddy Bear Sleepover Party.” For information and to register, contact the West Warwick Library at (401) 828-3750. 6:30 pm. 1043 Main Street, West Warwick. Free. www.wwlibrary.org [Julie Garnett does concerts for child care centers, libraries, etc., and has released a new album. See her ad on page 13.]

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

4/27–5/1: RI Kids Consignment

Sale. Children’s clothing, toys, and baby gear. Everything from newborns to preteens. April 27: pre-sale pass required; April 28: 10 am – 6:30 pm; April 30: 9 am – 4 pm; May 1: 9 am – 12:30 pm. Wide World of Indoor Sports, 1610 Davisville Road, North Kingstown. Free entrance. www.rikidsconsignment.com [See ad on page 3.]

Saturdays & Sundays: Spring

Weekend Harbor Seal Encounters. Feed a seal on Saturdays and Sundays in April and May. Age 5 or older to participate, and children ages 5–11 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Online registration is required. 2–3 pm. Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence. $20/person. www.rwpzoo.org

Places to go Artists’ Exchange. A non-profit arts collaborative with art studios, a gallery, art boutique, and café as well as a secondary venue, Theatre 82 and Café, a multi-use performance, meeting, and instructional space. Offers family events and classes in art, music, and theater. 9 am–5 pm, Monday– Saturday. 50 Rolfe Square, Cranston. Paid and free events. artists-exchange.org [See ad on page 7.] Audubon Society Environmental Education Center. 9 am–5 pm, Wednesday–Saturday and noon–5 pm, Sunday. 1401 Hope Street, Bristol. Some activities free. Admission $6/ adults; $4/children 4–12; free/under 4. asri.org

RISD Museum. Museum, classes, and family activities. 10 am–5 pm, Tuesday – Sunday. 20 North Main Street, Providence. Also enter from 224 Benefit Street, Providence. $12/ adult; $10 seniors; $5/college students; $3/youth 5–18; free/under age 5. Free on Sundays and 5–9 pm on the third Thursday of the month. risdmuseum.org

Learn about majestic birds of prey! Wingmasters is coming to the Providence Children’s Museum on Wednesday, April 20. Families can learn about majestic birds of prey with licensed raptor rehabilitator Julie Collier. Meet a glorious golden eagle, a tiny owl, a red-tailed hawk, a falcon, and other magnificent raptors. Wingmasters is dedicated to increasing public understanding and appreciation of North American birds of prey. Collier works with a partner to rehabilitate injured raptors. Most can be released back into the wild, but some are permanently handicapped and given a home by Collier and her partner Jim Parks. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Show times are at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 2 pm. 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org [The museum has different events every day. See their ad on page 13.]

Roger Williams Park Zoo. See snow leopards, moon bears, and other coldhardy animals or soak in the heat at the Zoo’s Tropical America, Elephant & Giraffe, and Australasia buildings. 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence. $14.95/adults; $9.95/children, 2–12; free/Zoo members, children under 2. www.rwpzoo.org

Fridays 4/1: April Fools! In honor of April

Fool's Day, the Providence Children’s Museum hosts a silly scavenger hunt. 9 am–6 pm. 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org

4/15: RI Family Hiking Guide.

Meet Jeanine Silversmith, author of “The Rhode Island Family Hiking Guide.” Learn about family hiking and draw, trace, and sketch using natural materials as inspiration. 6–7:30 pm. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. Free. www.childrenmuseum.org

Every Friday: Bring Your Own Improv. Family–friendly comedy show. 7–8:30 pm. Warwick Museum of Art, 3259 Post Road. $8/adults; $4/children under 12 and seniors. bringyourownimprov.com

Every Friday: Frosty Drew Observatory & Sky Theater. Public stargazing. 6 pm. 61 Park Lane, Charlestown. $1/person suggested donation. frostydrew.org

Weekends 4/2 Saturday Family Performance Series. Different performances each week such as magic, puppet shows, music, theater, storytelling, improv, and more. 11 am–noon. Theatre 82, 82 Rolfe Square, Cranston. Pay what you can. artists-exchange.org [See ad on page 7.] Cup Towers. Kids stack and pile paper cups to create towers and then watch them topple! 2–4 pm. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org Tours for Tots. Playful stories, creative art-making, and gallery adventures inspire children ages 3–5 to imaginatively explore art and learning. 10:30–11:15 am. RISD Museum, 224 Benefit Street, Providence. Registration is required. Free. www.risdmuseum.org

4/3 Sunday Animal Adventures. Create critters and craft wild habitats for animal play. 10 am–3 pm. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org (continued on next page)

April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine


April 2016 Cribs to Crayons Expo. Events and activities for families, business booths. Noon–6 pm. Providence Career and Technical Academy, 41 Fricker Street, Providence. $10/adult; $5/children 6-12; free/children under 5. www.cribtocrayons.com

Doodlers. Explore drawing and doodling activities in Discovery Studio. 10 am–3 pm. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org

Family Learning Sunday – Cupcake Decorating. Decorate cupcakes using all kinds of ingredients. Cupcakes can be taken home or eaten there! 2–4 pm. Providence Public Library, 150 Empire Street, Providence. Free. www.provlib.org

4/16 Saturday

4/9 Saturday Rhode Island Robot Block Party. Highlights the innovation of RI’s robotic community. Includes demonstrations and exhibits featuring robots used in space, underwater, research, healthcare, school, and play. 11 am–4 pm. Pizzitola Center, Brown University, 235 Hope Street, Providence. Free. www.risf.net Science at Work. Meet bio-tech scientists from Amgen Foundation and experiment with states of matter, chemical reactions, and solutions. 11 am–2 pm. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org Family Performance Series. See April 2. Tours for Tots. See April 2.

4/10 Sunday Disney’s Choo Choo Soul. Join Genevieve and DC for a sing-along, dance-along party. Two shows, 1 pm and 4 pm. Greenwich Odeum, 59 Main Street, East Greenwich. $22/ ticket. www.theodeum.org 30

Wheeler Clothing Sale. Gently worn goods and designer items. Cash and checks only. 10 am–3 pm. Wheeler Madden Gym at 407 Brook Street, Providence. Free. www.wheelerschool. org/clothingsale The New England Family Fun Festival. Four bouncy houses (free with admission cost), live performances, and activities. Sat: 11 am–7 pm; Sun: 10 am–6 pm. Alex and Ani City Center, 2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence. $12/adults; $7/children. www.nef3.com Family Nature Hikes. Monthly guided hikes to learn about local flora and fauna. Hikes happen rain or shine, dress accordingly. 10–11 am. Oak Knoll and Attleboro Springs Wildlife Sanctuary, 1417 Park Avenue, Attleboro, MA $2/person. Family Performance Series. See April 2. Tours for Tots. See April 2.

4/17 Sunday Save the Bay Newport Seal Tours. Saturdays, Sundays, and public school vacation days until April 24. See website for times. Bowen’s Ferry Landing, 18 Market Square, Newport. One-hour tour: $22/non-members; $17/members, seniors, children 3-12. Two-hour tour: $42/non-members; $32/ members, seniors, children 3-12; $5/ children under 3. www.savebay.org

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

The New England Family Fun Festival. See April 16.

4/23 Saturday After the Beanstalk: Jack, Jill and the Giant. Help Jack and his sister Jill solve the giant's puzzling spatial challenges in an interactive performance that expands on the classic tale. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Shows at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South Street, Providence. $9/person; free/children under 12 months. www.childrenmuseum.org Family Performance Series. See April 2. Tours for Tots. See April 2.

4/24 Sunday After the Beanstalk: Jack, Jill and the Giant. See April 23.

4/30 Saturday Family Science Expo. Explore your way through K-8 science with GEMSNet at the University of Rhode Island. Meet hissing cockroaches, scale the solar system, engineer a parachute, and so much more! Presented in partnership with the RI Environmental Education Association and several local school districts. 10 am–2 pm. The Ryan Center, One Lincoln Almond Plaza, South Kingstown. Free. Craft Bash. Mother’s Day craft. Turn children’s photo into art for Mom. 11 am–2 pm. Artists’ Exchange, 50 Rolfe Square, Cranston. Free. www.artists-exchange.org Family Performance Series. See April 2. Tours for Tots. See April 2.

401-229-2101 www.clubz.com/blackstonevalley April 2016  Rhode Island Parent Magazine



Rhode Island Parent Magazine  April 2016

Profile for Rhode Island Parent Magazine

Rhode Island Parent Magazine  

Rhode Island Parent Magazine