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FEBRUARY 2012 • rmparent.com

Skiing and snowboarding Sledding hills Ride into menopause Valentine’s Day greenover Heart healthy foods

happiness Seeking

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FEBRUARY 2012

Departments Perspective. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Digital news—check out our new website and more

WOMEN ’ S HEALTH . . . . . . . . . . 8 The ride into menopause—hot flashes, wacky periods, night sweats and more...

Fa m i ly a c t i v i t i e s . . . . . . . .10 The gravity of it all—the scoop on sledding and tubing in northern Colorado

HEALTHY l i v i n g . . . . . . . . . . . 12 A Valentine’s Day makeover—Make this classroom holiday and all party days as sustainable as possible

C o m m u n i t y n e w s . . .14

Children’s Health Insurance Program gets a boost • Vote for your favorite Dancing Star • Test your home for radon gas • PVHS announces high-altitude air ambulance service

NUTRITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Valentine’s Day is for hearts—show your family you love them with heart-healthy foods

C a l e n d a r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Events and activities for parents, kids and families

T i m e o u t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 It’s just the crazies—mom adds a puppy into the mix

School District News Thompson School District. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Hispanic parents at Winona forge new relationships, TSD Board changes action meeting schedule and times

Features

16 Seeking happiness As parents, we are good at helping our kids develop their bodies and minds. But sometimes we overlook the third aspect that makes them whole—their spirits. Take a few minutes each day and tend your kids’ spirits. You’ll be giving them something that’s ultimately more important than physical strength and a sharp mind—you’ll be giving them happiness.

18 T aking a ride

Think your kids are too young to hit the slopes this winter? Think again. The coordination and strength required for beginner skiing and snowboarding develops by the time kids are 3 years old. As with any sport, snow sports provide exercise and improve overall health. Skiing and snowboarding in particular build strength, endurance and balance. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for the whole family to spend time together outdoors.

Poudre School District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Kruse coordinator admires those who make time to volunteer, February calendar of events, Early Childhood Program enrollment clinics, fourthgraders use entrepreneurial skills to help others

Greeley-Evans District 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Community partners to operated preschool classes, latest Star Student video, latest Teacher Who Makes a Difference video,

ABOUT THE COVER

Fort Collins native Mollie Murinko celebrated her fourth bitrthday this year by posing for the February cover of RM Parent magazine. Photo by Cheri Schonfeld, schonfeldphotography.com.

Lunchbox. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 School menus for Poudre, Thompson, Greeley-Evans, and Windsor

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perspective

Digital news

check out our new website and more

W

e’re excited about some new things going on around here. First, we have a new cover look, complete with new logo. I hope you like it! Next, Emily has been working overtime to set up our new website: www. RMParent.com. But, wait, it doesn’t stop there! All of our RMParent issues and Special Sections will now be available as electronic flipbooks. Just go to the website to check them out. At the website, you can sign up for our eNewletter, too. We’ll send you a link to the latest digital issues at the beginning of the month and short eNewsletter later in month...no more, no less. Crazy, you say. I know! Our goal is get you the vital information in RMParent in the format that you want it. Here’s an example: Our annual Camps Guide comes out in the March RMParent. Some people like to pick up a hard-copy issue and thumb through the listings and advertisements. Now, if you pull up the digital version, too, you can click through to the website of any program in our listings. Check out our new online calendar, too! It even maps where the event is. School lunches are on the homepage...just a couple of clicks and you’ll know what’s scheduled at your kid’s school. And one last digital reminder: be sure to find us on Facebook at Rocky Mountain Parent Magazine. Can you tell we’re excited? I hope you are too. Looking at the current issue...I was taken by Lynn Utzman’s story (Seeking happiness, p16) about how to promote spiritual health in kids. She does a great job of helping us to understand what spiritual health is and how we can foster it in our kids. It’s helping our kids (and probably ourselves) find the road to happiness. “It boils down to having a sense of self, knowing our own hearts and desires, and feeling a connection to other people, the world and something bigger than ourselves. Ultimately, this all leads to happiness. Just what we all want for our kids, right?” Lynn says in the story. And then she goes on to explore specific opportunities that you can create for your kids to discover spirituality on their own. Katie Harris gives us more great things to do this month with a feature on skiing and snowboarding (Taking a ride, p18) and a Family Activities department about sledding (The gravity of it all, p10). And also check out a couple of stories from the heart. First, Ann Schimke shares some ideas about how to have a green Valentine’s Day in your child’s classroom (A Valentine’s Day makeover, p12). Then Richard Keller encourages us (Valentine’s Day is for hearts, p34) in his nutrition column to show your family you love them with heart-healthy foods. Thanks for reading, —Scott Titterington, publisher



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FEBRUARY 2012 • VOLUME 16, NUMBER 9 PUBLISHER Scott Titterington, (970)221-9210 scott.rmpublishing@gmail.com EDITOR Kristin Titterington, (970)221-9210 kristin.rmpublishing@gmail.com Calendar editor Aly Titterington calendar@rockymountainpub.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Emily Zaynard emily.rmpublishing@gmail.com ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Greg Hoffman, (970)689-6832 greg.rmpublishing@gmail.com ADVERTISING SALES Sara Hansen, (970)310-9850 sara.rmpublishing@gmail.com DISTRIBUTION Wendee Brungardt, Sharon Klahn, Rob’s Bike Courier Service COVER PHOTO Cheri Shonfeld, schonfeldphotography.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Katie Harris, Richard Keller, Ann Schimke, Lynn Utzman-Nichols ROCKY MOUNTAIN PUBLISHING 825 Laporte Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80521 Voice 221-9210 Fax 221-8556 editor@rockymountainpub.com www.RMParent.com Rocky Mountain Parent magazine is published monthly by Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. Publication of this paper does not consitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised. RMP reserves the right to refuse any advertisement for any reason. The opinions expressed by contributors or writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Rocky Mountain Publishing. ©2012 Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without express written permission is prohibited. OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS:


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women’s health

The ride into menopause

Hot flashes, wacky periods, night sweats and more... lynn u t zman-nicho l s

M

aybe you’ve noticed that it’s not just your teenage daughter who’s experiencing mood swings. If you’re in your 40s or even late 30s, it could be perimenopause. This is simply the years leading up to menopause—which becomes official once you’ve stopped menstruating for 12 straight months. Usually, the first sign of perimenopause is that your periods get wacky. Your cycle gets shorter or longer. You bleed heavier or lighter. Then, the hot flashes might kick in. Or you start waking up during the night with night sweats or insomnia. Hold on. You’ve started the oneto five-year ride toward menopause, which typically occurs between ages 45 and 55. My sister—who is experiencing 10 hot flashes a day, some right smack in the middle of her high-powered work meetings—recently said to me, “I wish someone would have warned me how bad it is!” She described hot flashes as a sudden rush of heat that runs up and down her body at super speed, leaving her dripping with sweat in a minute. Sometimes her heart pounds and races, too. Hot flashes wake her up several times a night. I am not sure how she is still functioning at her 60+-hour-a-week job. She’s desperate for relief. My friend, Catherine, who is also going through menopause and having hot flashes, isn’t quite so worried. She says they are unpleasant but not terrible. Yet she also wakes up several times a night now, sometimes on the hour. Yikes. I am coming around the bend and I can’t imagine functioning half as well as either of these women on such little sleep. I need my solid eight hours. Some women approaching menopause also suffer from headaches, joint pain, hair loss or increased facial hair, incontinence, vaginal dryness, lower sex drive, memory lapses and weight gain (oh, joy!). 

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So what can my sister, friend and all the other sisters and friends out there do? What are our options to relieve perimenopausal symptoms? Here are a few to try: Hormone Therapy (HT) HT is the traditional solution. This medical dose of estrogen (and sometimes progesterone) has been known to help with severe hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness and vaginal dryness. Yet it comes with a warning: Several major health studies have shown HT increases a woman’s chances for breast cancer, blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. My read: Enter with care. Lifestyle changes The National Institute of Health recommends the following lifestyle changes to ease perimenopausal symptoms: • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods. • Eat soy foods. Soy contains phytoestrogens. • Take calcium and vitamin D. • Get plenty of exercise. • Do Kegel exercises every day. • Practice slow, deep breathing whenever a hot flash starts to come on. • Try yoga, tai chi, meditation or acupuncture. • Keep having sex (use a lubricant, if

needed). • Don’t smoke. • Take Supplements that balance hormones.

Besides taking a good multivitamin, women experiencing perimenopause should consider taking herbs and supplements that balance hormones and relieve symptoms of hot flashes, mood swings and sleep disorders. Here are a few to explore:

• Black Cohosh. Reduces hot flashes in some women. • Casteberry. Balances estrogen and treats PMS, breast tenderness, cramps, bloating and headaches. • Dong Quai. Helps with menstrual cramping and menopause symptoms. • Red Clover. Its isoflavones (which acts as a phytoestrogen) are known to reduce hot flashes. • 5-HTP. Helps with insomnia and mood swings, anxiety and depression. • Omega 3 Fish Oil. Taken with herbs mentioned above, helps alleviate menopause symptoms. • DIM. Helps regulate estrogen and relieve hot flashes, cramping and other menopause symptoms.

Now all you need to do is alter your mood swings with your teenager’s and you’ll be all set!


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family activities

The gravity of it all

The scoop on sledding and tubing in northern Colorado K A TI E H A R R IS

I

f you haven’t been out on the hills yet this winter there’s still time. Even the youngest children enjoy being pulled around on sleds, or riding with an adult down mild hills. Keep it safe and legal when hitting the hills. According to Sergeant Mike Halloran of the Loveland Police Department, the rule of thumb is you should only sled on your property or the property of another on which you have permission to do so. Halloran says that schools, which are frequented by sledders, are technically off limits unless the district has granted permission. Parks are fair game for sledding, if you can find one with the right terrain, and northern Colorado offers a few select hills designed especially for sledding. Here are some top spots: Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park

www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/winter_ activities.htm

Hidden Valley in RMNP: Call 970586-1206 or visit any visitor’s center in the park for a conditions report. Facilities on site include a warming hut (open on weekends), and heated restrooms open daily. Passes are $20 and are valid for one week. Fort Collins

Retention pond by Hughes Stadium: 1800 S. Overland Trail.

This area was built for sledding, and remains unplanted just for that purpose.

Edora Pool and Ice Center (EPIC): 1801 Riverside. 970-221-6683. A popular sled-

ding hill can be found near the tennis courts. www.fcgov.com/recreation/epic.php Fossil Creek Park: 5821 S. Lemay Ave. www.fcgov.com/parks/finder/fossil-creek Spring Canyon Park: 2626 W. Horsetooth Rd. www.fcgov.com/parks/finder/spring-canyon 10

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Greeley

University of Northern Colorado: Reservoir Road and 18th Ave.

Sledding hill: 61st Ave. and 24th St. Follow the crowd! Loveland

www.ci.loveland.co.us/index.aspx?page=620 Kroh park: 5200 N. Garfield Ave.

Sledding hill located on far east side of park. Red Feather Lakes

Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch www.beavermeadows.com 100 Marmot DR # 1 Red Feather Lakes, 970-881-2450.

Great tubing hill with a lift. $20/ day passes for kids. Sledding safety There are a few safety tips people should remember before bringing out the sleds: • Inspect sled for damage and loose

screws before each use

•N  ever sled on hills that end at a street, parking lot, pond, fence, trees, or other hazards, without adequate stopping distance in between • T horoughly inspect hill for trees, rocks and other obstacles on the way down before sledding • S led on hills that are snowy, NOT icy • S led in daylight or well-lit areas, and never when visibility is poor •W  ear winter-specific clothing, making sure all appendages are covered • P ractice the buddy system: Never allow kids to sled alone

Choosing a sled Baby/toddler sleds: Found at most superstores, these sleds usually feature back support, a seat belt and a rope for pulling. Foam sleds: Fairly inexpensive and more durable than plastic sleds, most foam sleds have a polyurethane layer on the bottom to provide speed, and a foam top to reduce slipping. Inflatable sleds and tubes: These sleds provide comfort and are easily stored by deflating. Inexpensive inflatables may be subject to tearing or popping. Kick sleds: Suitable for use on almost any grade slope, these sleds provide an aerobic workout similar to snowshoeing and are equipped with a passenger chair up front. Plastic sleds: Inexpensive and colorful, plastic sleds are a popular choice that can be found anywhere sleds are sold. These sleds

are generally the least durable, and can be prone to cracking. Saucers: Fast and lightweight, saucers provide little to no control and should only be used by older children. Steerable sleds: These sleds provide control and speed, but can be difficult to maneuver for small children. Toboggan: Toboggans are usually long enough to carry more than one person. They’re a good choice for sledding with small children. Wood sleds: These sleds are more expensive than other types of sleds, and require more care. They are generally sturdier than other sleds, and those with metal runners on the bottoms are speedier as well.


JOHN M. JAMES, M.D.

Certified by the American Board of Allergy & Immunology and The American Board of Pediatrics

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or call 1-800-735-1434 • www.coloradoallergy.com

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healthy living

A Valentine’s Day makeover

Make this classroom holiday and all party days as sustainable as possible A n N S c h i m ke

W

ith Valentine’s Day coming up, there’s bound to be a crush of sweets, cards and all manner of red, white and pink trinkets in northern Colorado’s schools. This means there will also be lots of opportunities to remake the usual classroom traditions into something a little greener. First and foremost is the timehonored Valentine exchange. The Scooby-Doo, Toy Story and Cars cards with suckers or pencils attached are fun at first glance, but they aren’t a very sustainable way to say, “Classmate, I like you!” As much as I appreciate the effort that parents and teachers make in buying these treats, at my house the cards go straight to the recycling bin on February 15 and the candy ends up in a bowl on top of the fridge that I hope the kids forget about. (The pencils, while useful, are so numerous that we still have some unused ones from 2010.) But a greener approach to Valentine’s exchanges doesn’t have to mean doing away with cards and treats completely. Why not talk to your child’s teacher about having the students create a single valentine with recycled or edible items that would be given to another child in the class chosen at random. Your student might want to incorporate a special poem, story, collage, craft or food into the project. The idea is to make something more creative and meaningful than a Walgreen’s valentine, with a lot less waste. Plus, nobody has to address and sign 25 cards per class. Another exchange option, particularly for schools that allow home-baked goods, is a cookie exchange. It’s simple. Every child brings in a batch of cookies and distributes them to their classmates. Then each child takes a plate home loaded with all kinds of mouthwatering treats. Yes, it’s still a chance 12

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for sugar-overload, but it’ll certainly reduce the Valentines waste stream. For parents who don’t have time to bake, a bag of tangerines or small apples works just as well and adds few healthy options to the take-home plate. It’s worth remembering that Valentine’s Day festivities don’t have to include an exchange of any kind. In the spirit of loving and appreciating others, why not suggest or coordinate a class community service project? For example, students might make and distribute homemade Valentines cards to nursing home residents, pick up trash on the school grounds or at a local park, or bake a special treat for dedicated school volunteers. The possibilities are endless and, with any luck, a service project will teach a more valuable lesson than gobbling candy hearts. Not all schools and classrooms sanction Valentines exchanges, but many still have some sort of Valentine’s Day festivity during the school day. As with class parties at any time of the year, these celebrations are rife with opportunities for waste. Think paper cups, paper plates, paper napkins, plastic forks and individually packaged store-bought snacks for hundreds upon hundreds of local classrooms. That’s a lot of garbage for a 45-minute bash. Here are a few common-sense ideas to help minimize classroom party trash year-round: • Provide homemade or fresh snacks if the school permits it. These could include cookies, muffins, fruit or baby carrots. • If store-bought snacks are the only option, buy one large container instead of

individually packaged portions. Provide large bottles of juice instead of juice boxes or pouches. • Minimize the use of paper or plastic table-wear. A single napkin or a half paper towel might work in lieu of plates if the treats are baked goods, crackers, fruit or veggies. • If the teacher agrees, consider purchasing a classroom set of reusable cups or plates for celebrations. (It might help if you offer to wash and return the dishes after each event.) • Offer to pick up recyclables, such as cardboard boxes, juice bottles and cartons, after the party. • Offer to compost leftover food scraps (fruits and veggies) and even paper table-wear if possible.


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community news

Children’s Health Insurance program gets a boost

The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing announced that Colorado Medicaid will receive $26,141,052 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Colorado qualified for a Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act Performance Bonus for Federal Fiscal Year 2011. The bonus award recognizes Colorado’s ongoing and strong efforts to identify and enroll eligible children in Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). In order to qualify for a Performance Bonus, states must, 1) have in place at least five Medicaid and CHIP program features known to promote enrollment and retention in health coverage for children; and 2) states must demonstrate a significant increase in Medicaid enrollment among children during the course of the federal fiscal year. Colorado met five of the eight required program features: • The removal of the asset test for Medicaid eligibility • The elimination of in-person interview requirements • The use of one application for applying and renewing Medicaid and CHP+;

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•Presumptive Eligibility—the ability for applicants who appear to be eligible to receive health care services while waiting for final eligibility determination •A premium assistance program, Health Insurance Buy-In, or HIBI, allowing families to receive subsidies for eligible Medicaid clients to purchase employer insurance.

The Department received an initial bonus award last year of $13,671,043 in December 2010 with a supplemental payment of $4,532,320 in August 2011. Colorado will need to continue to implement at least five of eight program features and demonstrate an increase in Medicaid enrollment compared to a baseline in order to qualify for the performance bonus next year. For more information about the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, visit www. Colorado.gov/hcpf. Vote for your favorite Dancing Star Canyon Concert Ballet presents Dancing with the Stars of Fort Collins on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Sunset Event Center in downtown Fort Collins. Doors open at 7pm and performance

begins at 8pm. Enjoy an evening of fun as you watch 10 couples take the dance floor with styles ranging from swing to tango to the Lindy hop. Ticket prices are $60 for main-floor seating and $50 for upper tier seating, available at the door, or call 970-472-4156 prior to the event. Votes will be sold for $1, which will determine the winning couple. Votes can be purchased at the event, at CCB office or on www.ccballet.org prior to the event. For more information or to buy a vote for your favorite couple, contact CCB at 970-472-4156 or dance@ccballet.org. Local stars include Susan Anderson, Tricia Diehl, Connie Hanrahan, Jeff McCubbin, Erin Mounsey, Pete Meyer, Laura Oswald, Amy Rosenberg, Carl Spina, and Amanda Tate. Each star is matched with a local professional dancer. All proceeds from the event will go towards the Canyon Concert Ballet Company’s performances, including sets, props, costumes and new choreography for the spring production of Sleeping Beauty and the 2012 Nutcracker performance. Test your home for radon gas Representatives of the City of Fort Collins encourage residents and businesses to test for radon. While health risks associated with ongoing exposure to this gas are serious, we can do something about it. Testing for radon can be done easily through radon test kits or by hiring a professional. The City of Fort Collins offers radon test-kits for households year round at discounted rates. Shortterm kits cost $3.50 and long-term kits are available at $13.95 at the Fort Collins Senior Center (1200 Raintree Drive) or the Fort Collins Development Review Center (281 North College Avenue). A listing of trained and certified radon professionals can also be found through the Colorado Department of Health and Environment at www.coloradoradon.info.


Radon is a radioactive gas responsible for approximately 1,400 Colorado cancer deaths each year. It’s a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that enters homes and other buildings through cracks in the floor or spaces around utility pipes. It accumulates unless properly vented, and long-term radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second-leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. Measured in picoCuries (pCi) of radon per liter of air, radon results from the decay of uranium, which occurs naturally in soil. While radon is found in all 50 states, 52 of Colorado’s 64 counties are at high risk for radon. The gas moves unpredictably through soil, so it’s possible for radon to collect in one home, but not the one next door. In Fort Collins, approximately 70 percent of homes have radon levels of 4 pCi/L. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that citizens whose homes show a reading of 4 pCi/L and above be fixed. Radon mitigation systems can be installed in instances where high levels of radon are found. To ensure that the system is working properly, be sure to test your home again after the system has been installed. PVHS announces high-altitude air ambulance service Poudre Valley Health System announced that it plans to offer an air ambulance program from Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland beginning mid-March. The program would feature a B3 helicopter designed to safely transfer patients in high-altitude areas. “We are proud to bring to the community an air ambulance service built around three pillars of excellence: safety, quality and rapid transport,” said Dr. Timothy Hutchison, medical director of the PVHS air ambulance program. Dr. Hutchison is also an ER physician with more than 23 years experience in medical air transport, most recently at the Greeley-based North Colorado Med Evac. Referencing extreme altitude capabilities, Dr. Hutchison noted that the B3 helicopter was the first to land on Mount Everest, the world’s highest

mountain.* “Achieving positive patient outcomes is the primary focus of our new program,” he said. “With quality medical teams on board, helicopters play a pivotal role in getting patients with life-threatening conditions to the care they need as quickly as possible. “The PVHS aircraft would be equipped with the latest medical transport technology available to support optimal on-flight treatment. Its home base would be Medical Center of the Rockies, a hightertiary care hospital that features two landing pads, one on the rooftop and one at ground level. The PVHS flight crews would include experienced nurses and paramedics skilled in high-level trauma and advanced cardiac and critical care. The program would serve the medical transport needs of northern Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. Program administrators are currently discussing the name of the new program and finalizing contracts. Raptor program fundraiser and call for volunteers Tickets are now on sale for the Rocky Mountain Raptor Programs’s 19th Annual “A Second Chance at Freedom Gala Dinner and Benefit Auction.” Join RMRP staff, volunteers and, of course, the birds for an evening of good food, entertainment, a great array of auction items, Saturday, Feb. 25, 5-10pm at the Fort Collins Hilton. Early Bird Price: Feb. 1-13: $55.

At the Door: $60; Reserved Table (prime seating) for 10: $550. Call the RMRP at 970-484-7756 or email: judy@rmrp.org or if you are interested in being a sponsor or donating an item, call Judy Scherpelz at 970-484-7756. Got Skills? The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program is seeking bright, detailed-oriented, friendly people who enjoy connecting with others and want to advance our life-changing and life-saving efforts. Tasks need to be done between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the RMRP offices at 720 E. Vine Drive. • Volunteer Writer to assist with press releases, newsletters, reports, and other promotional materials, and grant writing. 10-20 hours/week •Volunteer Marketing and Community Outreach Associate to assist in “Friendraising,” developing relations with local businesses, agencies, and other non-profits. •Volunteer Gift Shop Associate to assist in managing merchandise for public outreach events and the gift shop. 4-15 hours/week. •Volunteer Database Assistant to assist in accurate input of data into RMRP databases. Minimum of 6 hours/week. For more information or to apply, check out www.rmrp.org or call Judy at 970-484-7756 or email judy@rmrp.org. r m pa r e nt

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Seeking happiness

Activities that promote spiritual growth in our kids By Lynn Utzman-Nichols

A

s parents, we are good at helping our kids develop their bodies and minds. We enroll them in music lessons, help with homework, take them to museums, read books together and sign them up for sport teams. That’s all great. But sometimes we overlook the third aspect that makes them whole— their spirits. Read on to learn simple ways we can bring spirituality into our kids’ daily lives. Defining spirituality According to the UN doctrine on children’s rights, all children of the world have a right to spiritual wellbeing. Authors Crompton and Jackson define spiritual wellbeing as an “integral and essential aspect of everyday life that may have everything or nothing to do with religious belief and observance. It can be defined as a sense of good health about oneself as a human being. It occurs when people are fulfilling their potential as individuals; are aware of their own dignity and value; enjoy themselves and have a sense of direction; can sense this quality in others and consequently respect and relate positively to others; and are at ease with the world around them.” It boils down to having a sense of self, knowing our own hearts and desires, and feeling a connection to other people, the world and something bigger 16

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than ourselves. Ultimately, this all leads to happiness. Just what we all want for our kids, right? A 2009 study published in Christianity Today of 320 8- to 12-year-olds found a strong correlation between spirituality and happiness. Researchers were surprised to find that religion and how often kids attended a place of worship, prayed or meditated did not significantly correlate with happiness. “I think it’s important for kids to be given permission to find spirituality in ways that may not be traditionally defined,” says Kristin Glenn, Community Health Instructor for Poudre Valley Health System. The researchers found that a key to the spirituality-happiness connection was creating personal meaning in kids’ lives. In other words, kids who engaged in activities that brought them meaning—whether it be attending youth group at church, hiking through the woods, connecting with friends or volunteering at an animal shelter—were happier. “Today’s youth seem freer to find meaning and spirituality in their own ways. They are not so confined by the boundaries of their parents’ or grandparents’ sense of religion or spirituality. I’m impressed by young people today in how they define spirituality in a broad way, from helping out their community

and caring for friends, to attending church. More and more, they seem to be given permission to explore what brings personal meaning to life. There’s a confidence and inner strength that accompanies that,” adds Glenn. Allowing for spiritual moments Developing spirituality is a bit trickier than growing the mind and body. We often can’t witness the growth outright. Yet we can create opportunities for kids to develop spirituality on their own. Many of these involve creating quiet times that promote introspection and wondering. Here are some ideas. Encourage art, drawing, journaling and storytelling Defining ourselves as individuals creates a sense of security and gives us confidence, no matter our age. Help your child define herself by encouraging her to record her own personal history through artwork and writing. Have her create a storybook of one of her favorite days and describe how it made her feel. Or ask an older child to journal about what brings him happiness in life. Or, encourage him to describe what it was like to make the winning goal or be honored at the science fair. By writing and drawing personal stories kids gain a sense of who they are and what brings them meaning.


Read meaningful quotes and writings Maybe this is something you do as a daily ritual or just on special occasions like when you watch the sunrise while camping or during holiday dinners. However often you do it, it’s a good habit to have. Feeling inspiration or wonder in other people’s writings and ruminations on life enrich our own views and give us a wider perspective. Experience natural beauty Marveling at nature is a universal way to experience a sense of wonder. When we are still in nature we tend to get reflective and contemplate the world around us and our own life circumstances. Gazing over a vast space or at the stars can make us feel like our own lives and inner worries are small and insignificant. It also makes us feel part of an incredible whole. “Spirituality and nature are often synonymous. People gain solace and peace by being outdoors and taking in natures’ magnificence,” says Glenn. Get out and sit on a rock at Horsetooth Reservoir or go cross-country skiing at Cameron Pass or Estes Park. If you don’t have time for that, simply walk the bike path or explore a local city park. Just get out often and regularly with your kids. Go to church and learn about the religions of the world Feeling a sense of unity—whether amongst a group or within the community at large—often brings life meaning. Church and youth groups give families a sense of belonging. Church also helps families define their own values and explore the idea of a power greater. Religion, in its varying forms, has been around since the beginning of time. Explore a church and also introduce your kids to different religions of the world. Don’t know where to start? Attend a mass, meditation or gathering at a local mosque, cathedral, church or event. Research Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Babi, Zoroastrianism, Baha’i and other religions. When kids learn that the world is a diversely religious place they learn to respect, tolerate and accept the differences of others. Get involved and make a difference Another significant way to bring mean-

ing into our lives is to reach out to other people. Our local schools do a good job at giving kids opportunities to get involved in projects that benefit people and the environment. Often, school programs or classes require service learning—taking part in volunteer opportunities in the community. Helping others makes us feel useful and human. And again, part of a much larger whole. “Partly for me, spirituality means leaving the earth and other people in a better state than they were in before I came along,” exclaims Glenn. She is impressed with service-learning projects at local schools that she says: “teach compassion for others and focus not on how to better ourselves, but how to improve the common good. Students learn so much more from these real-life experiences than they’d ever learn in a book.” If your kids are not exposed to such opportunities at school, create them yourself. Volunteer at church, through United Way, with a local nonprofit or simply get into daily giving habits, like picking up trash on walks, recycling, and giving away toys and clothes each time you bring new ones into your house. Explore meditation and yoga Many people find peace and a sense of being centered and calm through the ancient practices of meditation and yoga. If your child is stressed or upset, encourage these activities in a class setting or at home. An easy meditation technique for kids is OM mantra chanting: Sit up straight and place your hand in the Gyan Mudra position (tips of thumb and index finger meeting while resting your wrists on your knees). Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Then exhale and chant “OM” as long as you can. Repeat. If desired, replace the OM with simple deep breathing, staying aware of each breath. Really connect and listen to your kids A final way to bring meaning and spirituality into our lives is to really connect with others. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we don’t slow down enough to really sit and listen to our kids and engage in what they are saying. Practice this habit, even if they are spewing on about a video game or a friends’ personal

drama. Feeling heard by the ones who love us and feeling like others really understand us is a powerful feeling—it tells us that we matter. “In my mother/ daughter classes I really stress the simple notion of just spending time together. It doesn’t have to be a big event. Teens may act like material things matter most, but studies show that it’s really connecting to family and friends that they value,” says Glenn. She encourages eating together often and, as her teens like to call it, having Forced Family Fun. “If kids have this connection in their own family, they’ll reach out and create it with other people,” concludes Glenn. Take a few minutes each day and tend your kids’ spirits. You’ll be giving them something that’s ultimately more important than physical strength and a sharp mind— you’ll be giving them happiness. Poudre Valley Health Systems sponsored this article

Girl Talk: A class for preteens and their moms Join Kristin Glenn and explore the topic of puberty and the physical and emotional changes it brings for your preteen daughter. Girls and mothers are encouraged to bring topics to the table in this open, relaxed setting. Choose one of two upcoming sessions in Fort Collins and Loveland, sponsored by Poudre Valley Health System.

When: M  onday, Feb. 13, 6:30-8:30pm (tentative) or Monday, Apr. 9, 6:30-8:30pm. Where: Medical Center of the Rockies, 2500 Rocky Mountain Blvd., Loveland (Feb. 13) or Poudre Valley Hospital, Indian Paintbrush Room, 1024 S. Lemay Ave., Fort Collins (Apr. 9) Cost: $25 for mom and child, if more than one child, call for discount Info and to register: 970-495-7500

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taking

A ride

T

hink your kids are too young to hit the slopes this winter? Think again. According to Andrew Middlemiss, ski school supervisor at Monarch Mountain in Monarch, Colorado, the coordination and strength required for beginner skiing and snowboarding develops by the time kids are 3 years old. Middlemiss recommends private lessons for preschool-agers, something many resorts offer. However, group lessons in skiing are also available beginning at 3 or 4 years old at most resorts, with snowboarding group lessons usually beginning between the ages of 5 and 7. “We always try and go with the student’s motivation, so if they are 3 years old and motivated then they’re ready. If they’re showing fear and anxiety then we want to hold off a little longer,” says Middlemiss. He recommends lessons for beginning skiers and snowboarders, saying, “There is a huge advantage in our instructors’ understanding of how kids work physically. They’re trained to keep kids safe.” Middlemiss says that parents 18

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often don’t understand what their kids’ abilities are or have expectations that are too high for their children to safely achieve, both physically and emotionally. “We believe that if kids are safe and having fun, they will learn something,” Middlemiss says. He suggests that parents take advantage of opportunities to shadow instructors and see how they work with the kids, then take it from there. As for choosing which sport to try first, Middlemiss suggests a simple solution: “We tend to go with what the kid is most interested in and what seems the most fun to them.” He says, “If the kid sees his dad on a snowboard he might be more motivated to start on a snowboard. We play toward the motivations and emotions more than the physical attributes.” Benefits of skiing and riding As with any sport, snow sports provide exercise and improve overall health. Skiing and snowboarding in particular build strength, endurance and balance.

Skiing and snowboarding lessons designed for preschoolers and older By Katie Harris

Another benefit of winter sports for young children is the introduction to winter weather. While it can be easy to hibernate during Colorado’s long winter season, skiers and riders believe that cold weather is no excuse to stay indoors. Middlemiss says, “Kids who come out to ski school learn to prepare for and adapt to an outdoor environment.” Finally, spending a day on the slopes is a unique opportunity for the whole family to spend time together outdoors. Preparation Before heading out to the mountains, always check the website of the resort you’ll be visiting. Most places post checklists online with information on how to dress and what equipment to bring along. Middleton says that goggles and sunscreen are the items typically forgotten. General checklists of things to remember when skiing and snowboarding can be found below: • Skiing: www.skiresorts.org/learn/ equipment/checklist.asp.


• Snowboarding: www.snowboard secrets.com/cheklist.htm

Cross-country skiing Families on a budget or not interested in making the drive out to ski country might enjoy cross-country skiing. Skis for cross-country come in all sizes, and kids can begin walking in the skis by the age of 3 or 4. Cross-country skiing requires less practice but more stamina, at least for long treks, and is considered more of a relaxing and peaceful sport compared to the exhilarating experience of skiing down a hill. With kids, it’s best to begin on trails developed specifically for crosscountry. Trails in the area include:

• Blue Lake: Located in the Poudre Canyon, about an hour from Fort Collins, this is an easy trail for beginners. Call 970-295-6600 for current conditions. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ arp/recreation/wintersports/recarea/ ?recid=36743&actid=91 for directions. • Happy Jack Trails/Pole Mountain: Located near Laramie, WY, these trails are groomed specifically for cross-country skiing, and require a national forest entry pass, for $5/day. Trail maps are available at the entrance office, and many trails have easy ratings. www.fs.usda. gov/recarea/mbr/recreation/winter sports/recarea/?recid=22918&actid=91. • Lory State Park: Located in Fort Collins, this state park accommodates cross-

country skiers on its trails when conditions allow. Daily passes can be purchased at self-serve kiosks for $7/vehicle. Call 970493-1623 or head to the visitor’s center at the park entrance for current conditions and a map of trails. www.parks.state.co.us/ Parks/Lory/Pages/LoryStatePark.aspx. • Rocky Mountain National Park: The west side of the park, accessed through Estes Park, offers trails of all difficulty levels for cross-country skiing. Park entrance fees are $20/vehicle and are valid for one week. Call 970-627-3471 to find out about ranger led ski programs and to make reservations, or call 970-586-1206 to ask about current conditions. www. nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/winter_ activities.htm.

Ski and snowboard schools

Kids can begin as early as 3 for ski lessons and 5 for snowboard lessons at many resorts. Find one below that’s on your itinerary.

• Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, CO. Ski lessons begin at age 3. Snowboard lessons start at age 5. www.arapahoebasin.com/ABasin/lessons/ kids-programs.aspx or 970-468-0718.

• Aspen, CO. Ski lessons start at age 2 1/2. Snowboard lessons start at age 5. www. aspensnowmass.com/schools/default.cfm or 970-923-1227.

• Copper Mountain, Copper Mountain, CO. Ski and snowboard lessons begin at age 3. www. coppercolorado.com/winter/ski_and_ride_ school/group_lessons or 866-841-2481.

• Crested Butte, Mt. Crested Butte, CO. Ski lessons start at age 3. Snowboard lessons start at age 5. www.skicb.com/cbmr/mountain/kidslessons.aspx or 800-810-7669.

• Echo Mountain, Idaho Springs, CO. Ski les-

• J ackson Hole Resort, Teton Village, WY. Pre-ski programs begin at 6 months old, with ski lessons starting at age 3. Snowboard lessons begin at age 5. www.jacksonhole.com/ lessons-guides/kids.html or 800-450-0477.

• Loveland, Georgetown, CO. Ski lessons start at age 4. Snowboard lessons start at age 6. www.skiloveland.com/skischool/ChildrensDay Lessons.aspx or 303-571-5580, ext.170.

• Monarch, Monarch, CO. Ski lessons start at age 3. Snowboard lessons begin at age 7. http://skimonarch.com/index.php/lessonschildcare/learn-to-ski or 888-996-7669.

• Powderhorn, Mesa, CO. Private lessons start at age 3. All other ski and snowboard lessons start at age 5. www.powderhorn.com/childrens-learningcenter-ages-3-7 or 970-268-5700 ext. 2093.

sons begin at age 3, with parent. Snowboard lessons begin at age 5. www.echomt.com/skiand-ride-school/youth-lessons or 303-3257347, ext. 2.

• Purgatory, Durango, CO. Ski lessons start at

• Eldora Mountain Resort, Eldora, CO. Ski les-

• Ski Cooper, Leadville, CO. Ski lessons begin

sons begin at age 4. Snowboard lessons begin at age 7. www.eldora.com/lessons.first.html or 303-440-8700.

• Grand Targhee Resort, Alta, WY. Ski skillbuilder classes begin at age 2. Snowboard lessons available for kindergarten and up. www. grandtarghee.com/winter/skiing/schools/kids. php or 307-353-2300.

age 4. Snowboarding lessons begin at age 5. www.durangomountainresort.com/kids_ lessons/ or 970-247-9000. at age 4. Snowboard lessons start at age 8. www.Skicooper.com/ or 719-486-2277.

• Sleeping Giant, Cody, WY. Private lessons available for preschoolers. Group lessons available by skill level. www.skisg.com/ski-rideschool.php or 307-587-3125.

• Snow King, Jackson, WY. Ski lessons start at age 4. Snowboard lessons start at age 6. http:// snowkingmountain.com/local_groups.aspx or 307-733-5200.

• Snowy Range, Laramie, WY. Group ski lessons available for ages 6 and up. Group snowboard lessons available for ages 9 and up. Private lessons available for younger children. www. snowyrangeski.com/snow-school/snow-school or 307-745-5750.

• SolVista Basin, Granby, CO. Ski lessons begin at age 3. Snowboard lessons start at age 7. www.granbyranch.com/kids-lessons.html or 888-850-4615.

• Steamboat, Steamboat Springs, CO. Ski and snowboard lessons available for 1st graders and up. www.steamboat.com/plan-vacation/ski-school/ results/index.aspx?id=2 or 970-879-6111.

• Sunlight Mountain Resort, Glenwood Springs, CO. Ski and snowboard lessons start at age 7. www.sunlightmtn.com/snow-school/skischool-registration-youth or 970-945-7491.

• Telluride, Telluride, CO. Ski lessons begin at age 3. Snowboard lessons start at age 7. http:// tellurideskiresort.com/TellSki/info/childrens_ ski_and_snowboard.aspx or 970.728.7575.

• Winter Park, Winter Park, CO. Ski lessons begin at age 3. Snowboard lessons start at age 4. www.winterparkresort.com/lessons/kids_ group_lessons.htm or 800.729.7907.

• Wolf Creek, Pagosa Springs, CO. Ski lessons begin at age 5. Snowboard instruction available through private lessons only. www.wolfcreek ski.com/wolf-creek-childrens-ski-school.php or 970-264-5639.

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thompson school district news

Hispanic parents at Winona forge new relationships

Victor Navarro accepts his “diploma” from Winona Principal Larry Shores.

Parents and staff at Winona Elementary School are fostering new relationships that ultimately support the students at their school. Several Spanish-speaking families in the Winona community have taken the step across the language barrier to work with Winona staff so they can better help their students become successful learners. Padres en Accion or Parents in Action are empowered and ready to enter the classroom and volunteer to assist with skills or challenges that English-language learners might be struggling with. “Relationships are the key to everything,” says Michelle Myers, family outreach liaison for the district’s Title program. “When kids see their parents helping in the classroom, it is synergistic.” The process to draw families closer to the Winona community started a 22

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year ago with staff going out into their school community to meet with Spanish-speaking parents. “We felt a disconnect with our Spanish-only speaking parents,” says Principal Larry Shores, who ventured out and visited with some families with Myers. “Michelle and I met with four or five Spanish-speaking families twice last year at one of their homes,” Shores says. “The conversation was nearly identical in content and concerns to that of similar meetings with English-speaking families, except that it was held in Spanish. It became obvious that this segment of our school was being left out of the education conversation that’s so rich and immediate for Winona.” By identifying a core group that staff felt had significant influence with similar families, Myers called more than a dozen

families with an invitation to participate in a discussion about being involved in making Winona the best possible place to learn. “It’s been a very organic process because parents wanted some avenue for getting involved,” she says. “Thanks to the incredible efforts and energy of Michelle, Julie Peters and Lenora Valerio (English Language Acquisition teachers), we have been able to welcome more of our families to participate meaningfully in their children’s education,” Shores says. Peters explains Padres en Accion as part of the hope/esperanza building daily at Winona Elementary School. There have been three Accion Clases de Instruccion Academicas or classes for the group. The parents signed up for the classes on a voluntary basis and signed all the paperwork with the VITAL (volunteer) office. “We had everything translated by our ELA (English Language Acquisition) department,” Peters says. “The parents indicated they wanted to be volunteers in the school in a meaningful way and we provided the instructional classes for them. We had asked the teachers what could be emphasized.” The meetings began and have had up to 16 parents attend. “Our first class was Nov. 29 and then Dec. 6 and 13. Our padres came on the coldest night of the year—Dec. 6!” Shores also provided childcare. He even presented parents with diplomas in front of their children for their efforts. Armed with their new lessons and tools, the parents started their volunteer service excited, empowered and a little nervous, Myers notes. “We are all a little nervous the first time we go into a classroom,” she says. “Volunteers have individual bags of instructional aids such as flash cards for math and the alphabet, Spanish/English translation dictionaries and more. The volunteers bring their bags each time they come to work with the students,” Peters says. People want to be connected with their school community, Myers says. “It’s


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Liliana Samaniego with Winona Principal Larry Shores.

about relationships and being able to be who you are and feel useful with the time you have to give, whether it is once a week, once a month or whatever,” she says. TSD Board changes action meeting schedule and times The Thompson School District

Board of Education has changed its meeting schedule. Business meetings where action is being taken will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6pm. The Board will meet for nonaction work sessions to review materials, have discussions and ask ques-

tions on upcoming proposed actions on the first and second Wednesday of the month, also beginning at 6pm. All meetings are open to the public and scheduled in the Board of Education Room at 800 S. Taft Ave.   The monthly business meetings in April and October will be held at Berthoud High School, 850 Spartan Ave. in Berthoud. For the past several years, the board met for business meetings on the first and third Wednesday of the month as well as twice a month for work sessions. Proposed actions will now be brought at one of the work sessions prior to being on the action meeting agendas. The decision to change the meetings was made at a special Dec. 14 meeting of the Board of Education. The changes made to Board Policy BE reflect the board’s desire to have more dialogue, discussion and information exchanged prior to action on agenda items as well as scheduling their meeting when it was more convenient for the public to attend.

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poudre school district news

Kruse Coordinator admires those who make time to volunteer says, “As parents, we always love to hear our children are enjoying school. We love being a part of the Kruse community and are always impressed with how well the school functions and how the volunteers are a huge part of that!” In her spare time, she enjoys participating in activities with her family. Both of her sons are very active in sports and she loves attending their practices and games. Her sons are in kindergarten and 5th grade, and are “excelling in the classroom.” Wold says, “Everything about Kruse is special! They have made us feel very welcome and the volunteers are so patient while I am learning the ins and outs of this position. I can’t say how much I admire all of those who make the time to volunteer and make our school such a great place for our kids to learn!”

Wanda Wold, VBC at Kruse, says that everything about the school is special.

Poudre School District has over 16,000 volunteers, consisting of parents, grandparents, seniors and community members. Managing that many volunteers in 48 schools is quite a feat! Helping the PSD’s Volunteers & Partnerships office manage the multitude of volunteers at each school site is a Volunteer Building Coordinator (VBC). These dedicated volunteers donate many hours to ensure the volunteer program at their school is a success. Some have done it for many years, starting in elementary schools, and continuing in this volunteer position even after their children move on to junior high and even high school! Two years ago, Kruse Elementary Volunteer Building Coordinator, Wanda Wold, moved to Fort Collins from Laramie, Wyoming. While enrolling her sons at Kruse, the VBC position was open and she jumped at the op26

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portunity as a way to become involved with her sons’ school and community. Before moving to Fort Collins, Wold worked in a nonprofit preschool, and volunteers were an integral part of the program. While working there, she was able to, “… witness firsthand how important community participation and volunteers are to improving children’s educational experience. Whether directly or indirectly, the time volunteers put in allows teachers to do what they do best,” says Wold. Wold and her boyfriend volunteer at functions when they are able to. Her most memorable function was serving ice cream at Back to School Night and seeing all those smiling faces waiting for their ice cream cones! Her sons always comment on how so and so’s parents came in to help out today, and, Wold

Attend an Early Childhood Program enrollment clinic in February Early Childhood Education is excited to announce four open houses for families interested in the Early Childhood 3-5 Preschool program for 2012-2013.  The open houses will feature an Early Childhood classroom where families can visit and experience the program first-hand. Early Childhood staff will be available to answer questions about enrollment and curriculum as well as the comprehensive services that are offered when children are enrolled. Open houses will be offered on the following evenings: 5:30 to 7:30pm, Thursday, Feb. 2, Traut Core Knowledge Elementary, 2515 Timberwood Dr. 5:30 to 7:30pm, Thursday, Feb. 9, Rice Elementary, 7000 Third St., Wellington Families are encouraged to attend any one of these evenings to visit with staff, see a classroom and apply for one of the program’s no-cost or


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The drawing for the volleyball will be held during a Bacon teacher volleyball tournament organized by Tomlinson’s class.

Bacon Elementary students sell cocoa to raise money for a worthwhile cause.

tuition-based program options.  For more information, contact the Early Childhood Enrollment (ERSEA) Office located at 220 N. Grant Ave., or call 490-3204. Fourth-graders use entrepreneurial skills to help others If there’s one thing fourth-grader Amanda Henninger has learned from working with her classmates to raise money for a new cancer center it’s that teamwork is the only way to be successful. “You have to come up with ideas and agree on something. You can’t fight about it. You have to have teamwork,” says Amanda. Amanda along with fellow students in Andrea Tomlinson’s 4thgrade class at Bacon Elementary are raising money for Poudre Valley Hospital’s new cancer center – just one of five good causes the whole class has undertaken to help. The class of 26 students became inspired to help several worthwhile causes after reading a story about entrepreneurship in their Treasures literacy unit. “They were so excited generating entrepreneurial ideas. We thought why not really try to help the com28

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munity,” says Tomlinson. As a result, the class decided to raise money or collect donations for several charitable causes. They researched what the greatest needs are in the Fort Collins community and developed action plans and strategies for addressing those needs. Students joined one of five groups, depending on their interests. The classes’ five service-learning projects, which are ongoing throughout the school year, include:

•C  ollecting coins from students in Bacon classrooms for the Fort Collins Cancer Center. Students have currently raised $68 and are hoping to raise $500 by the end of the year since Houska Automotive has generously agreed to match up to $500. • Collecting clothing donations and other items for the Salvation Army. • Raising money for the homeless shelter by selling hot chocolate in the lunchroom. Students have raised $200 to date. • Collecting canned food for the Food Bank of Larimer County. • Organizing a drawing for a Colorado State University volleyball (autographed by the team) to raise money for children with Diabetes.

Tomlinson says students have enthusiastically become immersed in their efforts by contacting community leaders such as the mayor’s office, surveying nurses at PVH and writing letters to gather as much information as they could about their charity or cause. They are also learning how to collaborate when a problem develops. “One group started out selling hot cider, but after a couple of weeks their customers weren’t interested anymore and the group decided to switch to selling hot chocolate. Now they’re planning ahead for other things they can sell,” Tomlinson says. “They are really learning life skills like working together and problem solving. The kids are so engaged in what they are doing. They don’t even know they are learning because they’re having so much fun.” Fourth-grader Evelyn McElvenny has enjoyed helping organize the volleyball drawing and teacher volleyball tournament. “I’ve learned how to deal with big crowds when selling something…It’s mostly about having fun and it’s more fun than usual because we’re actually helping people less fortunate than us,” Evelyn says.

PSD Calendar of Events Feb. 14

Feb. 20 Feb. 28 Feb. 28

6 :30pm, Board of Education business meeting, Johannsen Support Services Complex, 2407 LaPorte Avenue. Teacher Collaboration Day, no school for K-12 students. E lementary Honor Choir performs, 7pm, Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia. 6 :30pm, Board of Education business meeting and work session, Johannsen Support Services Complex, 2407 LaPorte Avenue.


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greeley-evans district 6 news

Community partners to operate preschool classes Preschool classes, which are currently operated by both District 6 and by community-based providers, will continue to be offered in Greeley and Evans next school year, but all of the classes will be run by community-based providers. The district will shift its preschool classes to the community providers beginning in August 2012. Services for students will not be reduced. The community providers will serve preschoolers in the Colorado Preschool Program and the special-education program, and will also serve tuition-based preschool enrollments. Preschoolers with special needs will receive services from District 6 specialists at the communitybased centers. One of the main communitybased providers is ABC Child Development Centers. “With decades of experience operating high-quality early childhood programs in Greeley, they are well suited to be able to take over our preschool slots and continue to provide a great experience for students and their families,” says superintendent Ranelle Lang. ABC Child Development Centers have been a part of the Weld County early childhood education picture since 1969. ABC currently operates four centers in the Greeley and Evans area, serving more than 600 children. ABC also administers nine Bright School-Age Centers, which are elementary school-based centers, in Greeley-Evans, Johnstown-Milliken and Windsor, serving another 600 children. “We are committed to the highest standards of integrity and leadership throughout our community,” says Sandy Bright, ABC’s programs director. “Our programming is focused on building children’s self-esteem, leadership and achievement in healthy, stimulating, age-appropriate environments. We partner with families, 30

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school districts and community entities to provide positive, comprehensive growth opportunities for children.” The operational shift will ultimately free up about 13 classrooms in District 6 elementary schools, which the district is in need of because of growing enrollment. The shift will also save the district an estimated $500,000 a year in general operating costs. For more information about preschool services in Greeley and Evans, please contact: Sandy Bright, ABC Programs Director, 970-352-2222, extension 0. Kathi VanSoest, District 6 Executive Director of Student Support Services, 970-348-6260. Latest Star Student video The latest installment in a series of videos highlighting star students from District 6 is now available for viewing on the district’s website, www.greeleyschools.org , Comcast cable channel 16 in the Greeley and Evans area, and on YouTube www. youtube.com/watch?feature=player_ embedded&v=8JSbHuvvy9k . This month’s Star Student video highlights Victoria Ochoa, an eighth-grader at Chappelow K-8 Arts Magnet School. She’s a student with lots of interests and a great work ethic. She dances ballet, plays violin in the orchestra, performs in plays, takes algebra, science and language arts classes, and loves history. She knows the importance of studying hard, practicing, and concentrating on doing her best. Though still undecided about which high school to attend – Greeley Central for its AP and arts programs, or Greeley West for its IB program – she does have college and career goals already in mind: to attend Harvard and become a lawyer. 

Latest Teacher Who Makes a Difference video This month’s District 6 Teacher Who Makes a Difference http://www. greeleyschools.org/site/default.aspx? PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=92 &ViewID=047E6BE3-6D87-41308424-D8E4E9ED6C2A&RenderLo c=0&FlexDataID=6509&PageID=1 video features science teacher Markee Swank from Greeley Central High School and the ENG@GE Online Academy. The video can be seen on Comcast cable channel 16 in the Greeley and Evans area, and also on the District 6 website. In the video, Swank talks about how she found a love of science in college, at UNC, while studying sports medicine. She graduated with a bachelor’s in biology and kinesiology. At Greeley Central, she helps her students connect science concepts to their life experiences, and gives student lots of hands-on activities to bring new perspectives and interest to their learning. Swank also discusses how more girls than ever are getting into math, science and medical classes, breaking down long-standing stereotypes. As a teacher with the ENG@GE Online Academy, Swank also sees the growth and potential that online classes are having for students at both the college and high school level.


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lunch box Poudre School District: Elementary student lunches are $2.O5, secondary student lunches are $2.30 and reduced lunches are $0.40. Entrees offered daily: Elementary—a variety of fruits and vegetables, milk and juices; Secondary--hot and cold sandwiches, fruits and vegetables, deli salad and pizza. . Elementary school 1 Mac n’cheese; pig in a blanket; PBJ 2 Turkey gravy w/potatoes; chef salad; chicken patty sandwich 3 Spaghetti; turkey & cheese wrap; pepperoni pizza 6 Cheese pizza; meatball deli; PBJ 7 Veg lasagna; cheeseburger; chef salad 8 Chicken rice bowl; chicken patty sandwich; hummus & veggies 9 Baked chicken; beef & bean burrito; veggie wrap 10 Mac n’cheese; French toast sticks; tuna salad sandwich 13 Yogurt, cheese & fruit; rib-b-que sandwich; nachos 14 Beef & bean burrito; chicken nuggets; PBJ 15 Chef salad; cheeseburger; corn dog 16 Veggie wrap; Teriyaki chicken

dippers; chicken patty sandwich 17 Turkey & cheese wrap; cheese pizza; Philly cheesesteak sandwich 20 No school! 21 Yogurt, cheese & fruit; hot dog; mac n’cheese 22 chicken quesadilla; cheeseburger; PBJ 23 Enchilada bake; ham & cheese deli; chicken nuggets 24 Veggie wrap; pepperoni pizza; cheese raviolis 27 Beef & bean burrito; chef salad; pancake & sausage wrap 28 Grilled cheese sandwich; chicken patty sandwich; yogurt, cheese & fruit 29 Chicken & broccoli Alfredo; PBJ; chicken nuggets Secondary SCHOOLS 1 Pig in a blanket; pasta w/sauces; chicken salad

2 Chicken nuggets; grilled ham & cheese; chicken Caesar salad 3 Cheese raviolis; baked chicken; chef salad 6 Mac n’cheese; chicken rice bowl; chicken Caesar salad 7 Chicken nuggets; green chile burrito; chicken salad 8 Veg lasagna; pasta w/sauces; mandarin chicken salad 9 Baked chicken; yogurt, cheese & fruit; chef salad 10 Chicken & broccoli Alfredo; chicken taco; hummus & veggies 13 Nachos; pasta w/sauces; chicken Caesar salad 14 Teriyaki chicken dippers; beef tacos; chef salad 15 Chicken nuggets; chili w/cinnamon roll; taco salad

16 Philly cheesesteak sandwich; orange chicken w/rice; hummus & veggies 17 Chicken fajita w/rice; green chile burrito; chicken salad 20 No school! 21 Chicken nuggets; green chile burrito; chicken salad 22 Enchilada bake; pasta w/sauces; Mandarin chicken salad 23 Baked potato bar; yogurt, cheese & fruit; chef salad 24 Turkey gravy & potatoes; chicken taco; hummus & veggies 27 Spaghetti; chicken quesadilla; taco salad 28 Chicken nuggets; beef tacos; chef salad 29 Lasagna; nachos; cheeseburger

Thompson School District: Elementary lunches are $2.25. Secondary school lunches are $2.50. Reduced lunches are $0.40. Offered daily: PBJs & fruit. Elementary schools 1 Turkey hot dog; rice & bean burrito 2 Taco; baked potato 3 Fish fillet sandwich; fruit & yogurt plate 6 Roasted chicken w/mashed potatoes; grilled cheese sandwich 7 Chicken Alfredo; baked potato 8 Rib nibblers; rice & bean burrito 9 Nachos; baked potato 10 Orange chicken w/brown rice; fruit & yogurt plate 13 Mac n’cheese; grilled cheese sandwich 14 Pizza stick w/sauce; baked potato

15 Manager’s special 16-17 No school! 20 No school! 21 Cheese pizza; baked potato 22 Burger; rice & bean burrito 23 Burrito; baked potato 24 French bread boat; fruit & yogurt plate 27 Pancakes w/sausage; grilled cheese sandwich 28 Jumbo stuffed pasta shells; baked potato 29 Turkey hot dog; rice & bean burrito

Secondary SCHOOLS 1 Turkey hot dog; burger 2 Taco; grilled cheese w/tomato soup 3 Fish fillet sandwich; spicy chicken patty 6 Roasted chicken w/mashed potatoes; sloppy Joe 7 Chicken Alfredo; spicy chicken patty 8 Pork rib patty; burger 9 Nachos; meat lasagna 10 Orange chicken w/brown rice; French bread boat 13-15 Manager’s special 16-17 No school!

20 No school! 21 Cheese pizza; chicken fajita wrap 22 Cheeseburger; chicken parmesan 23 Burrito; meatball sandwich 24 French bread boat; hot ham & cheese sandwich 27 Chicken breast strips w/mashed potatoes; bbq pulled pork 28 Jumbo stuffed pasta shells; country friend steak sandwich 29 Turkey hot dog; burger

Greeley - Evans District 6: To obtain a complete meal, student gets an entrée and can select 1-3 sides. Elementary lunches are $2.15, and middle school lunches are $2.40, reduced-price lunches are $.40. Offered daily: PBJ. Elementary schools 1 Pasta w/meat sauce; PBJ 2 Roast turkey; ham & cheese hoagie 3 No School! 6 Hamburger; turkey & cheese hoagie 7 Taquito pie; chicken salad sandwich 8 Bean burrtio; PBJ 9 BBQ chicken; ham & cheese hoagie 10 Pepperoni pizza; tuna salad sandwich 13 Chili w/tortilla; turkey & cheese hoagie 14 Taco; chicken salad sandwich

15 Roast pork; PBJ 16 Herb chicken; ham & cheese hoagie 17 Cheese pizza; tuna salad sandwich 20-21 No School! 22 Lasagna w/breadstick; PBJ 23 Roasted chicken sandwich; ham & cheese hoagie 24 Pepperoni pizza; tuna salad sandwich 27 Sloppy Joe; turkey & cheese hoagie 28 Chicken salad sandwich 29 Pasta w/meat sauce; PBJ

Middle schoolS 1 Pasta w/meat sauce; PBJ 2 Roast turkey; Tuscan bagel sandwich 3 No School! 6 Hamburger; club wrap 7 Taquito pie; chicken salad sandwich 8 Bean burrtio; PBJ 9 BBQ chicken; turkey & cheese hoagie 10 Pepperoni pizza; Italian wrap 13 Chili w/tortilla; ham & cheese hoagie 14 Taco; chicken fajita wrap

15 Roast pork; PBJ 16 Herb chicken; Tuscan bagel sandwich 17 Cheese pizza; tuna salad sandwich 20-21 No School! 22 Lasagna w/breadstick; PBJ 23 Roasted chicken sandwich; turkey & cheese hoagie 24 Pepperoni pizza; Italian wrap 27 Sloppy Joe; ham & cheese hoagie 28 Chicken quesadilla; chicken fajita wrap 29 Pasta w/meat sauce; PBJ

Windsor School District: Price for elementary lunch is $2.25, for middle school students, $2.30. Reduced lunches are $0.40. Salad bar is served daily with entrees. Offered daily: PBJ and yogurt. Elementary schools 1 Chili w/cinnamon roll 2 Teriyaki chicken 3 Pizza dippers 6 Chicken nuggets 7 Pancakes w/sausage 8 Spaghetti taco 9 BBQ sandwich 10 Cheese pizza 13 Hot dog

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14 Pasta primavera 15 Nachos 16 Chicken noodle soup 17 No school! 20 No school! 21 Ravioli 22 Chicken taco 23 Potato bar w/chili, broccoli & cheese 24 Big Daddy pizza

27 Hamburger 28 Rotini w/meat sauce 29 Bean & cheese burrito Secondary SCHOOLS 1 Chili w/cinnamon roll 2 Teriyaki chicken 3 Spicy bean quesadilla 6 Chicken nuggets 7 Pancakes w/sausage 8 Tuscan turkey & ham wrap

w/tomato soup 9 BBQ sandwich 10 Hot & spicy chicken sandwich 13 Weiner wrap 14 Pasta primavera 15 Nachos 16 Turkey noodle soup 17 No school! 20 No school! 21 Ravioli

22 Chicken taco 23 Potato bar w/chili, broccoli & cheese 24 Steak & cheese sandwich 27 Cheeseburger 28 Rotini w/meat sauce 29 Bean & cheese burrito


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nutrition

Valentine’s Day is for hearts

Show your family you love them with heart-healthy foods R ICH A R D K E LL E R

W

ith Valentine’s Day around the corner, thoughts turn to romance, love, and the organ that makes it all possible—the heart. Not the symbol that dominates greeting cards and candy boxes on the 14th of February. Instead, I’m referring to the half-pound organic machine in your chest, pumping blood throughout your body, pretty much keeping you alive. Like any mechanism, the heart needs to be taken care of to keep it running as smooth as possible. Much of this maintenance is done through healthy habits such as exercising and not smoking. The rest of it is done through eating the right foods. Here are some heart-healthy options to keep you and your family’s machines pumping through this Valentine’s Day and beyond. Fruits and vegetables Green, yellow, red, blue and orange, the colors of the heart-smart fruits and vegetables. Fruits such as blueberries, oranges, cantaloupes and papaya and vegetables like spinach, red bell peppers and asparagus are full of heart disease- and high blood pressure-fighting beta-carotene. They also contain cardio-sensible, vitamin Aproducing chemicals such as lycopene, folate, potassium, and magnesium. The best thing about these foods is they can be eaten more than one way. If so inclined, your kids can dig into slices of tomatoes, oranges or sweet potatoes at any time. Or, if your little ones despise anything fruit or vegetable-like, it’s easy enough to shred some carrots into a tomato sauce, add finely chopped spinach into the ricotta cheese spread of your lasagna, or mix cantaloupe and papaya together with bananas and milk 34

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for a fruit smoothie. Meats and fish While red meat is chock full of protein, it has never been a hearthealthy choice. Especially meats high in fat content, which can assist in clogging arteries and increasing the risk of heart attacks down the road. If your family craves steak or hamburger, make sure the saturated fat content is listed as less than 10 percent. On the other hand, fish is an extremely health-conscious alternative to red meat thanks to naturally produced Omega-3 fatty acids. Rather than being dangerous, these acids help to keep arteries clear of plaque and blood clots and lower the risk for heart attacks. Fish like salmon and tuna, fresh or canned, are loaded with these fatty acids and should be part of a weekly diet no matter how much your kids complain. Luckily, fish can be added into many recipes and even modified for tiny tastes. Salmon burger, anyone? If your kids decide a piece of fish will never reach their lips, and you’re looking for a red meat alternative, then tofu may be your answer. This versatile, soy-based product is packed full of heart-strong minerals like niacin, magnesium and potassium and can be substituted in dishes requiring red meat. Tofu-based burgers and hot dogs, among others, can be purchased at your local Whole Foods or other organic food store, making your preparation time much quicker.

Grains and nuts This is a tricky one, since kids have the potential of having allergies to grains, nuts, or both. If there’s no risk for either, have them go at it with these heart-safe foods. For instance, if they partake in some oatmeal for breakfast and brown rice, perhaps with fish, for dinner, your family’s hearts will receive doses of Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin and clot-preventing B-complex vitamins. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts also contain Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as doses of mono- and polyunsaturated fats. But don’t worry, as these fats are heart-favorable. Again, if the kids have never met a nut they liked, try adding almond slivers into a salad and walnuts into a dark chocolate brownie mix. Which is healthy, by the way, since dark chocolate contains resveratrol, which studies has shown helps in the maintenance of the cardiovascular system.


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calendar

FEBRUARY 2012 Ongoing Through February 5 The 39 Steps Presented by OpenStage Theatre. A spy thriller with farcical comedy and a touch of romance. Lincoln Center, 417 Magnolia Ave., FC. 970-221-6730 or www. LCTIX.com. Through March 4 Trying This shares how a feisty 25-year-old girl and her employer, a crusty, aristocratic, octogenarian judge, manage to bridge the generation gap. Bas Bleu Theatre Company, 401 Pine St., FC. 970-498-8066 or www.basbleu.org. Through March 11 Anything Goes Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, 4747 Market Place Dr., Johnstown. 970-744-3747 or www.coloradocandlelight.com. Through March 17 Avenue Q Carousel Dinner Theatre, 3750 South Mason St., FC. 970-225-2555 or www. adinnertheatre.com. February 3-5 The Beaver Cup: 6th annual Pond Hockey Tournament Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch, 100 Marmot Court, Red Feather, CO. 970-8812450 or http://www.fcphl.net/beaver-cup/ or www.beavermeadows.com. February 5, 6 & 11 If We Are Women Bas Bleu Theatre Company, 401 Pine St., FC. 970-498-8066 or www.basbleu.org. February 18 – March 18 Othello by William Shakespeare The Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 970-221-6730 or www.LCTIX.com or www.openstage.com.

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Wednesday, February 1

speaker or are just interested in listening to the Spanish language and learning about the culture; this is the place for you! Noches en Familia is a free event for all ages. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 5pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org.

Sketching with Nature Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 3-4pm. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland.org/museum.

Saturday, February 4

Bright Beginnings for Infants Bring your baby and learn how nurturing interactions with support brain and emotional development. Poudre Valley Health System, 1025 Garfield Ave., FC. 10-11am. 970-495-7528 or www.pvhs.org.

Friday, February 3

Family Game Night Cool Beans Playhouse and Cafe 4019 S. Mason St. #5 FC. 970-266-1135 or www.CoolBeansPlayHouse.com. Soap, Ice Cubes and Sponges The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. Ages 4-5. 970-416-2486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens. Mixed Media Painting Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 10-11am. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland.org/museum. Scrabble @ Your Library Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 10am. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org. Noches en Familia: Family Nights ¡Ven y disfruta un tiempo de cuentos, manualidades, canciones y películas en español! Come and enjoy a time of stories, crafts, puppets, and songs in Spanish. Each month we will celebrate a special Latin-American holiday or tradition. It doesn’t matter if you are a fluent

Interesting Reader Society Meeting Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 11am. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org. Teens Create: Cool Valentine Crafts @ Your Library Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 1:30-3:30pm. 970-221-6740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org. Designing and Building Raised Beds The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 9:30-10:30am. 970-4162486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens. Building Timber Retaining Wall and Steps The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 11am-Noon. 970-4162486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens. Landscaping with Stone The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 12:30-1:30pm. 970-4162486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens. Grow Your Own Veggies! The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 2-4pm. 970-416-2486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens.


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Stories, Songs and More with Storyteller Lois Burrell Experience stories and songs from the African and African-American. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 2pm. 970-221-6740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org.

Breastfeeding Basics Learn techniques that can help breastfeeding go smoothly. Dads welcome. Medical Center of the Rockies Mt. Audubon Room, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave., LV. 6:30-8:30pm. 970-495-7528 or www.pvhs.org.

Valentine’s Stamp Camp Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 10:30am-Noon. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland. org/museum.

Colorado Raptors: Hawks, The Soaring Birds of Colorado Join Carin Avila from the Colorado Raptor Center for a program on hawks. Raptor Center hawks will be on site for an up-close viewing. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 6:30pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org.

Boot Camp for New Dads For men, taught by men! Learn about the gatekeeper phenomenon, troubleshooter’s guide to crying babies, caring for your baby “dad style”, caring for the new mom, and balancing work and family. North Colorado Medical Center, 1801 16th St., GR. 9amNoon. 970‑378-4044 or www.Banner Health.com/NCMCFamilyLifeEdu. Breastfeeding: Off to a Good Start Designed for expectant parents who are considering breastfeeding. North Colorado Medical Center, 1801 16th St., GR. 9amNoon. 970‑378-4044 or www.Banner Health.com/NCMCFamilyLifeEdu.

Monday, February 6

Rincon de Cuentos Libros, titeres, canciones, cuentos infantiles, manualidades y mucho mas! Este evento es en espanol y para todos. Books, puppets, songs, children’s stories, crafts, and much more! This storytime is in Spanish and everyone is welcome. Harmony Mobile Park, 2500 E. Harmony Rd., FC. 5pm. 970-2216740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org. Little White Duck Come enjoy story time plus an educational and hands-on activity. The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 10-10:45am & 11-11:45am. Ages 2-3. 970-416-2486 or www.fcgov. com/gardens.

Wednesday, February 8

Bright Beginnings for One-Year-Olds Explore how thinking and interactions change as your infant becomes a toddler on the go. Poudre Valley Health System, 1025 Garfield Ave., FC. 10-11am. 970495-7528 or www.pvhs.org. 38

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Sketching with Nature Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 3-4pm. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland.org/museum. Valentine’s Stamp Camp Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 3-4:30pm. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland.org/museum. Nature Photography The Bison Visitor Center, 1800 S. County Rd 31, LV. 10am. 970-679-4489 or www.larimer.org/naturalresources.

Thursday, February 9

Nutrition Series: Your Healthy Thyroid Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 7pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org. Sculpture: Poetry in a Box Presented by Art Exploration for Teens. Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 3-4pm. Ages 12+. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland. org/museum.

Friday, February 10

Oz! Presented by Colorado Academy of the Arts! Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7pm. 970-221-6730 or www. lctix.com. A Song for the World Presented by Up with People. Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7:30pm. 970-221-6730 or www.lctix.com.

Family Game Night Cool Beans Playhouse and Cafe 4019 S. Mason St. #5 FC. 970-266-1135 or www.CoolBeansPlayHouse.com. Valentine Fun Drop by to explore the possibilities of art! Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 10-11am. 970-9622562 or www.cityofloveland.org/ museum. Stargazing Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space, Carpenter Rd., 1 mile west of I25, FC. 7-9pm. 970-221-6311 or www. fcgov.com/naturalareas.

Saturday, February 11

Dancing With the Stars of Fort Collins Presented by Canyon Concert Ballet. Sunset Event Center, 242 Linden St., FC. 7pm. 970.472.4156 www.ccballet.org. Love & All that Jazz Dance Presented by Foothills Pops. Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7:30pm. 970-221-6730 or www.lctix.com. Baby Care 101 Prepares expectant parents in the basic care of newborns for the first few months. Topics include signs of illness, safety, development, and parent adjustment. Medical Center of the Rockies Mt. Audubon Room, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave., LV. 9am-Noon. 970-495-7528 or www.pvhs.org. Oz! Presented by Colorado Academy of the Arts! Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7:30pm. 970-221-6730 or www. lctix.com. Chess @ Your Library Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 10am. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org. Enhance your Landscape with WaterWise Features The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 10-11:30am. 970-4162486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens.


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Tomatoes, Potatoes, Peppers and More The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 1-3pm. 970-416-2486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens. The Winter Farmers Market This market features more than 50 vendors at each market, selling produce, eggs, meat, poultry, wine and cider, cheese, bread and baked goods, coffee, tea, locally-made food specialties and crafts. Opera Galleria, 123 N. College Ave., FC. 10am-3pm. www.BeLocalFirst.org.

Monday, February 13

Rincon de Cuentos Libros, titeres, canciones, cuentos infantiles, manualidades y mucho mas! Este evento es en espanol y para todos. Books, puppets, songs, children’s stories, crafts, and much more! This storytime is in Spanish and everyone is welcome. Harmony Mobile Park, 2500 E. Harmony Rd., FC. 5pm. 970-221-6740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org.

Sweetheart Skate Greeley Ice Haus, 900 8th Ave., FC. 7:15-8:45pm.970-350-9402 or www. greeleyicehaus.com.

Bright Beginnings for One-Year-Olds Explore how thinking and interactions change as your infant becomes a toddler on the go. Medical Center of the Rockies, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave., LV. 910am. 970-495-7528 or www.pvhs.org.

Eagle Watch Bald eagles spend the winter in Fort Collins and have established roosts and hunting areas here. Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space, Carpenter Rd., 1 mile west of I-25, FC. 9-11am. 970-2216311 or www.fcgov.com/naturalareas.

Bright Beginnings for Two-Year-Olds Learn how to promote early literacy, brain development, and a healthy/safe environment for the active twos. Medical Center of the Rockies, 2500 Rocky Mountain Ave., LV. 10-11am. 970-495-7528 or www.pvhs.org.

Infant CPR North Colorado Medical Center, 1801 16th St., GR. 1-3:30pm. 970‑378-4044 or www.BannerHealth.com/NCMC FamilyLifeEdu.

Girl Talk For girls and their mothers to explore the physical and emotional changes of puberty. Medical Center of the Rockies, 2500 Rocky Mountain Blvd., LV. 6:308:30pm. 970-495-7528 or www.pvhs.org.

Spanish Prepared Childbirth To receive a flyer printed in Spanish, call 970-378-6709 Monday-Friday between the hours of 8a.m.-3:30p.m. North Colorado Medical Center, 1801 16th St., GR. 9am1pm. 970‑378-4044 or www.Banner Health.com/NCMCFamilyLifeEdu.

International Night: Tibet Join Tibetan-American Jamyang McQuillen to see, hear and learn a about the Himalayan country of Tibet. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 7pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org.

Wednesday, February 15

Petroglyph People Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 3-4pm. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland.org/museum. Lincoln’s Legacy of Equality & Liberty To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, Judge Dave Williams will use Lincoln’s own words and the words of those who knew him to explain how Lincoln’s commitment to the principles of equality and liberty transformed our nation. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 7pm. 970221-6740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org. Baby Care 101 Prepares expectant parents in the basic care of newborns for the first few months. Topics include signs of illness, safety, development, and parent adjustment. Poudre Valley Hospital Indian Paintbrush Room, 1024 S. Lemay Ave., FC. 9am-Noon. 970-495-7528 or www.pvhs.org.

Valentine Cards Come enjoy story time plus an educational and hands-on activity. The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 10-10:45am & 11-11:45am. Ages 2-3. 970-416-2486 or www.fcgov. com/gardens.

Animal Afternoon Join Larimer Animal People Partnership volunteers and their special story-loving critters. Enjoy good books and the opportunity to read to friendly animals. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 3pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org.

Prepared Childbirth This class provides you with a great forum to ask questions and helps you make informed decisions about key issues surrounding the birth of your baby. North Colorado Medical Center, 1801 16th St., GR. 7-9pm. 970‑378-4044 or www.Banner Health.com/NCMCFamilyLifeEdu.

Diavolo Diavolo reinvents dance, re-imagines theater, and redefines thrills. The 10 dancer-actor-gymnasts of Diavolo take movement, athleticism and risk to the extreme. Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7:30pm. 970-221-6730 or www.lctix.com.

Thursday, February 16

Mamma Mia! The Musical A mother, a daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Union Colony Civic Center, 701 10th Ave., GR. 2pm & 7:30pm. 970-356-5000 or www.UCSTARS.com.

Tuesday, February 14

Sunday, February 12

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Kevin Cook: At Home in the Trees: Aspen Retreat Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. Noon. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org.

Tail Tale Story Time Presented by the Larimer Humane Society. Larimer Humane Society Shelter, 6317 Kyle Ave., FC. 10-11am. Ages 3-6. 970226-3647 or www.larimerhumane.org. Direct from Ireland: Celtic Nights Celtic Nights Journey of Hope transports audiences back in time through traditional ballads and expert dancing and musicianship. Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7:30pm. 970-221-6730 or www.lctix.com.


Friday, February 17

Family Game Night Cool Beans Playhouse and Cafe 4019 S. Mason St. #5 FC. 970-266-1135 or www.CoolBeansPlayHouse.com. Butterfly Mobile The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. Ages 4-5. 970-416-2486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens. President���s Day Flag Paintings Drop by to explore the possibilities of art! Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 10-11am. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland. org/museum.

Saturday, February 18

African Drum Gathering Workshop and Performance Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 1pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org. Successfully Starting Seeds Indoors The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 9-10:30am. 970-416-2486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens. Masterworks #3: The Four Seasons Fort Collins native, Nina Tso-Ning Fan, comes home to share her grace and virtuosity as she solos with the Symphony on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Presented by Fort Collins Symphony. Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7:30pm. 970221-6730 or www.lctix.com. Propagation Made Simple The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 11am-12:30pm. 970-4162486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens.

Great School Escape: Building Blocks of Animals Environmental Learning Center, 3745 East Prospect Rd., FC. 8:30am-3:30pm. 970-491-1661 or www.csuelc.org.

Bright Beginnings for Two-Year-Olds Learn how to promote early literacy, brain development, and a healthy/safe environment for the active twos. Poudre Valley Health System, 1025 Garfield Ave., FC. 10-11am. 970-495-7528 or www. pvhs.org.

Honey Butter The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 10-10:45am & 1111:45am. Ages 2-3. 970-416-2486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens.

Natural Areas Volunteer Open House 215 N. Mason St., FC. Noon-1:30pm. 970-221-6311 or www.fcgov.com/ naturalareas.

Monday, February 20

Rincon de Cuentos Libros, titeres, canciones, cuentos infantiles, manualidades y mucho mas! Este evento es en espanol y para todos. Books, puppets, songs, children’s stories, crafts, and much more! This storytime is in Spanish and everyone is welcome. Harmony Mobile Park, 2500 E. Harmony Rd., FC. 5pm. 970-221-6740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org. Bright Beginnings for Infants This class is designed to celebrate the birth of new babies and provide families with health, safety, development, play and community resource information. McKee Medical Center, 2000 N. Boise Ave., LV. 11:15am-2:15pm. 970-495-7528 or www.BannerHealth. com/McKee.

Tuesday, February 21

Story Theatre The Theatre Pals present “Sense and Cents Abilities,” two hilarious stories from children’s literature. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 6:30pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org.

Wednesday, February 22

Randy Travis Union Colony Civic Center, 701 10th Ave., GR. 7:30pm. 970-356-5000 or www.UCSTARS.com.

Famous Nature Writers The Bison Visitor Center, 1800 S. County Rd 31, LV. 1pm. 970-679-4489 or www. larimer.org/naturalresources.

Sunday, February 19

TAO: The Art of the Drum Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7:30pm. 970-221-6730 or www. lctix.com.

Game Day @ Your Library Players of all ages and abilities are welcome. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 1pm. 970-221-6740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org.

3D Desert Scape Come learn this new form of art and create fun and fabulous projects. Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 3-4pm. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland.org/museum. Story Theatre “Sense and Cents Abilities,” Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 6:30pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org.

Thursday, February 23

Story Theatre “Sense and Cents Abilities,” Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 6:30pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org. Brian Regan Brian Regan has distinguished himself as one of the premier comedians in the country! Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7:30pm. 970-221-6730 or www.lctix.com. International Night: Tibet Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 7pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org. Watercolor Landscapes class Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 4-6pm. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland.org/museum.

Friday, February 24

Family Game Night Cool Beans Playhouse and Cafe 4019 S. Mason St. #5 FC. 970-266-1135 or www.CoolBeansPlayHouse.com.

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Nests The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. Ages 4-5. 970-416-2486 or www.fcgov.com/gardens.

Stars of Tomorrow Presented by Fort Collins Kiwanis Club. Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 5pm. 970-221-6730 or www.lctix.com.

Brian Regan Brian Regan has distinguished himself as one of the premier comedians in the country! Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7:30pm. 970-221-6730 or www.lctix.com.

Marrakesh Express: A Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Experience Union Colony Civic Center, 701 10th Ave., GR. 7:30pm. 970-356-5000 or www.UCSTARS.com.

History Comes Alive: Legendary Ladies Front Range Community College, Longs Peak Student Center, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 7pm. 970-221-6740 or www. PoudreLibraries.org. Eagle Watch Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space, Carpenter Rd., 1 mile west of I25, FC. 9-11am. 970-221-6311 or www. fcgov.com/naturalareas. Self Portraits Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 10-11am. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland.org/museum.

Saturday, February 25

The Winter Farmers Market This market features more than 50 vendors at each market, selling produce, eggs, meat, poultry, wine and cider, cheese, bread and baked goods, coffee, tea, locallymade food specialties and crafts. Opera Galleria, 123 N. College Ave., FC. 10am3pm. www. BeLocal First.org.

A Second Chance at Freedom Gala Dinner and Benefit Auction Join RMRP staff, volunteers, and of course birds, for an evening of good food, entertainment, and a great array of auction items. Fort Collins Hilton, 425 W. Prospect Ave., FC. 5-10pm. 970484-7756 or www.rmrp.org. Service Saturday Environmental Learning Center, 3745 East Prospect Rd., FC. 10am-1pm. 970491-1661 or www.csuelc.org. We’re having a Baby: A Class for Siblings Kids will learn what a new baby looks like, how to become a “big helper,” and how to make friends with the new baby. North Colorado Medical Center, 1801 16th St., GR. 9:30-10:30am. 970‑3784044 or www.BannerHealth.com/ NCMCFamilyLifeEdu.

Sunday, February 26

Film: The Color Purple Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 1pm. 970-221-6740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org. Animal Afternoon Join Larimer Animal People Partnership offers good books and the opportunity to read to friendly animals. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 3pm. 970-221-6740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org. Italian Lake Adventure Filmmaker Stan Walsh will narrate the travelogue of the romantic Italian Lake District. Union Colony Civic Center, 701 10th Ave., GR. 2pm. 970-3565000 or www. UCSTARS.com.

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Monday, February 27

Rincon de Cuentos Libros, titeres, canciones, cuentos infantiles, manualidades y mucho mas! Este evento es en espanol y para todos. Books, puppets, songs, children’s stories, crafts, and much more! This storytime is in Spanish and everyone is welcome. Harmony Mobile Park, 2500 E. Harmony Rd., FC. 5pm. 970-221-6740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org. Flowering Shrubs Come enjoy story time plus an educational and hands-on activity. The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 10-10:45am & 11-11:45am. Ages 2-3. 970-416-2486 or www.fcgov. com/gardens.

Tuesday, February 28

Who Are The Tuskegee Airmen? The Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II. The Tuskegee Airmen’s achievements, together with the men and women who supported them, paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. Come learn more. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 3pm. 970-2216740 or www.PoudreLibraries.org. HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method You may lessen or even eliminate the discomfort of labor and birth and the need for medication. North Colorado Medical Center, 1801 16th St., GR. 6:30-9pm. 970‑3784044 or www.BannerHealth.com/NC MCFamilyLifeEdu.

Wednesday, February 29

Sun Catchers Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 3-4pm. 970-962-2562 or www.cityofloveland.org/museum. Fly Fishing Film Tour Presented by Costa. The Fly Fishing Film Tour is the original and world’s largest event of its kind. It features incredible never-seen footage from waterways worldwide. Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 7pm. 970-221-6730 or www.lctix.com.


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time out

It’s just the crazies Mom adds a puppy into the mix K A TI E H A R R IS

I

recently bought my 4-year-old her first puppy. My husband, who’s by now used to my spontaneous acts of insanity, chalked it up to empty-womb syndrome. I laughed this off accordingly. After all, wasn’t I the one who’d shut the door on the possibility of ever having more children? I’d made it clear before our second child was born that two was my limit. I live by the dual philosophies of replacing yourselves in the world and never letting your kids outnumber you. In line with these ideas, the possibility of more children had never even been on the table for me. Life has been remarkably easier lately than over the past four years. Our 2-year-old is quickly developing his sense of independence, and our 4-year-old has recently deemed him a worthy playmate. I am finding myself able to leave the room for increasing periods of time to fold laundry, cook dinner and answer emails. The hardest days of child-rearing are apparently behind me. All things considered, I should be enjoying these new-found days of regular bedtimes, uninterrupted sleep, and daily showers. I tell my husband that I never consciously walked into the pet store with the intention of buying a dog, I just planned on letting the kids look and maybe pet one. And yet, as I watched my daughter, who’s spent every free minute of every day since she was a year old playing “mommy” to her dolls, hold the little puppy in her arms, I started wavering. The minute she announced that she’d be naming her “Hardy” because it was the perfect name for a girl dog, I knew I was in trouble. And when she told me that the puppy would “never be happy again unless we brought her home,” I was a goner. To be fair, she’s far exceeded 44

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my expectations in her diligence in watching the dog, accompanying me to let her outside, walking her daily, and playing fetch, even on the coldest of days. Still, I find myself standing outside at 2am, shivering in my pajamas and slippers, waiting for our new addition to do her business, and I realize this is actually even worse than

my husband’s right. What if my obstinate refusal to ever have more kids is only exceeded by my irrational need to always keep slightly more on my plate than I can comfortably handle. If so, then whether it be puppies or babies or whatever might come next, I’m doomed to keep finding something or someone to take care of, and

getting up to feed a baby at night, in the warm comfort of the nursery glider. Despite her best efforts, my daughter’s still a 4-year-old and quite unprepared to deal with the responsibility involved with a new puppy. So the onus falls on me, and my recently acquired free time is now spent cleaning up accidents from the carpets, wrestling with the dog over the Croc that she’s using as her current chew toy, and breaking up scuffles between her and our older two dogs. And I’m beginning to wonder if

to give my non-existent extra time to for years and years to come. Perhaps at some point in the near future I’ll drop the “I’ve got it all under control” act and, when people driving by us as I attempt to walk my toddler, preschooler, and three dogs down the sidewalk look at me like I must be nuts, I’ll just throw my hands up in the air and chortle insanely in agreement. And I wonder if maybe it’s a mom thing—this need to be needed; to have someone to nurture. But mostly it’s just the craziness.


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0212 RM Parent