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mental health


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Is your child struggling in school

either socially, academically or behaviorally? Are you at a loss as to what to do with a moody or argumentative child? Do you think that your child might benefit from a little extra help, but you don’t think he/she needs therapy and you don’t want to put him/her on medication? Brain health coaching might just be the answer you have been looking for. We can help your child with very specific tools that address his/her specific issues. After just 1-2 sessions, our team will come up with a plan to achieve the goals that will help your child be more successful, your relationship better, and your home a happier place.

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Departments PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Letting go of the list—giving our time and attention

WOMENS HEALTH . . . . . . . . 8 Tired? Cold? Low energy?—Consider a simple test for hypothyroidism

FAMILY ACTIVITIES . . . . . . . 10 A day in Denver—take a trip south and try something different

LEARN AND LIVE . . . . . . . . . . 12 Dance like no one’s watching—build confidence and self-awareness through creative movement

COMMUNITY NEWS . . . . . . . 14

Got knowledge? Need healing?—NoCo supports life-long learning and natural connections



test results



your baby’s brain

For babies, find out how to help with teething and how to stimulate your baby’s brain. For older kids, see how to give teething your kids free range and how to treat lying. And see why there is no simple answer to why kids commit suicide. And finally, don’t freak out when you get abnormal test results. PAGE 4

The truth about lying


Giving kids

free range



Kids and suicide


Take a bite out of PAGE 12


Get a first look at the camps and programs these providers have coming up for your families.

HEALTHY LIVING . . . . . . . . 16

Assessing your energy—simple changes create big changes on your bills

CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Events and activities for parents, kids and families

TIME OUT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 8

Trust your gut—you know your children better than anyone else

School District News Greeley-Evans District 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Students selected for all-state music groups, Meetings to provide information about new school, Board of Education changes meeting times

Poudre School District. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 PSD calendar of events, Ten ways schools are helping kids stay fit this winter, PSD graduation rate increases, Irish Elementary School first graders receive new bikes

Thompson School District. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Early College Credit Program continues to grow, Sarah Bliss named assistant principal at TVHS, class raises funds for UNICEF

Lunchbox. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 School menus for Poudre, Thompson, Greeley-Evans and Windsor




Features NO STRINGS ATTACHED 18 It’s February and love is in the air. St. Valen-

tine’s Day might not always feel sincere, but the sentiment is: letting those you love know that you love them. There’s no better place to put this into practice than with your kids—not just for a day, but also all year long.


Mental health issues often are hard to detect, especially in children, because sometimes they’re written off as phases or bad behavior. In teens, symptoms often are confused with the moodiness and rebellion. ABOUT THE COVER: Kelton, 3, likes playing trucks, digging in the dirt and slides. Photo by Cheri Schonfeld, courtesy of Sky's Open Design.



perspective Letting go of the list Giving our time and attention


harlie is always happy to see me when I get home. He tries to jump up on me, then he spins around and grabs his tail. He pretty much insists that I give him some attention before I do anything else. He makes it seem as if his entire day is spent just waiting for me to get home. And I give that love right back to him…when I remember to slow down and not just rush past him, although he is pretty insistent. Still a moment of undivided attention goes a long way with Charlie. People aren’t dogs but I’ve noticed that when I fully give a person my attention, it matters. If someone is talking to me and I set down my phone or my iPad, and look at her, it changes our interaction. But if I simply nod and say a perfunctory “yes” or “uh-huh,” I send a clear signal that whatever she has to say is not nearly as important as my game of Words with Friends. Every day we have all these little ways to let people know that they matter to us, but we get so easily distracted with everything going on in our busy lives that we send the opposite message: I don’t have time for you. I know I do that all the time. Some days I wake up and it seems as though my alarm says “get ready, get set, go!” and I’m off to the races. I’m especially bad at judging my day by how much I get done. If I ticked a bunch of stuff off my list, then it was a good day. What a horrible way to go through life! I try to remember (with mixed results) that the most important part of my day is the interactions I have with people, from the most important people in my life to the passing brief conversations I have checking out at the gas station. Please take a moment to read Lynn U. Nichols feature story about unconditional love and our kids. She discusses how we can be there for our kids both when they need support and when they need our solid grounding. Possibly related to that story is Kim Sharpe’s feature about our kids and mental health. In any case, she clearly outlines signs and symptoms of problems and she gives parents some resources for support. For me, letting go the speediness and taking that moment to listen and offer thoughts to friends, family and random people are the things I should measure my day by…not by how much I got done. I know it’s true, it’s just for me hard to remember that all the time. Scott



FEBRUARY 2017 • Volume 21, Issue 9 PUBLISHER Scott Titterington, (970)221-9210 EDITOR Kristin Titterington, (970)221-9210 CALENDAR EDITOR Kim Sharpe CREATIVE DIRECTOR Emily Zaynard ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Greg Hoffman, (970)689-6832 DISTRIBUTION Sharon Klahn, Debbie Lee, Rob Martin, Susan Pettit, Nikolai Poppen-Chambers COVER PHOTO Cheri Shonfeld, CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lea Hanson, Katie Harris Lynn U. Nichols, Kim Sharpe

ROCKY MOUNTAIN PUBLISHING 825 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521 Voice 221-9210 Fax 221-8556 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. ©2016 Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without express written permission is prohibited.




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women’s health

Tired? Cold? Low energy? Consider a simple test for hypothyroidism LY NN U. NICHOLS


ave you been feeling run down lately and you don’t know why? Hypothyroidism creates several vague symptoms that make you want to swap workouts for TV and a warm blanket—especially in cold weather. Hypothyroidism can occur at any age but it’s more common for women in their 50s and beyond. However, it’s not terribly rare for women in their 20s and 30s to develop hypothyroidism, and it’s something to pay attention to because it affects fertility. The thyroid is the thermostat of your body. It controls energy, metabolism, mood, digestive function and temperature. If you have extra dry skin, often feel cold, tired or constipated, have trouble remembering things, feel depressed, experience muscle cramps, have heavy or painful periods, weight gain or discharge from your breast, it might be hypothyroidism. It can be hard to pinpoint and it’s not something doctors test for regularly at annual exams, so if you have even one or two symptoms, ask to be tested. The test is a simple blood test that looks at the level of two hormones – TS3 and TS4. A high TSH means you have low thyroid, and a low TSH means you have too much thyroid. It’s good to get a baseline for comparison over the years as sometimes a test comes back in the normal range, but it’s not normal for you. WHY THYROIDS STOP WORKING Some people have full-blown hypothyroidism caused by an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s Disease. Much more common is hypothyroidism due to a thyroid glad that stops producing enough hormones. Doctors don’t really know why the thyroid sometimes stops producing enough hormone. Theories of what causes hypothyroidism include autoimmune disease, an inflamed 8


thyroid gland, a problem with your pituitary gland, and certain medications. Men and kids can have it, too. Some conditions increase your risk for hypothyroidism. One is diabetes. Another is having any type of autoimmune disease. A third is having had radiation to your chest or neck, or taking radioactive iodine. High cholesterol can also be associated with low thyroid. If you have hypothyroidism it’s important to get tested because left unchecked it can have serious consequences. According to the Mayo Clinic, untreated hypothyroidism can increase the risk of heart disease, mental health issues, nerve damage to your limbs, and more. FERTILITY AND PREGNANCY If you are trying to get pregnant and are having difficulty it might be because your thyroid is not working correctly. When thyroid hormones are low they can impair the release of an egg from your ovary and they also can cause miscarriage. While some believe it should be, it’s not a standard test before or during pregnancy. However, it’s one of

the first tests done at fertility clinics and can be an inexpensive fix to the problem. A low thyroid can also affect your baby’s development. Thyroid hormones are essential to healthy brain development. It’s estimated that between 4 percent and 15 percent of pregnant women have hypothyroidism. TREATING HYPOTHYROIDISM The treatment for hypothyroidism is a daily dose of synthetic hormone. It can take some time to get the right medication and right dose, but generally people feel better within a few weeks of starting treatment. It’s important to get rechecked six weeks after starting treatment or switching brands to make sure it’s working properly. The wrong dose can cause heart palpitations or heart failure, so it is important to be precise. Finally, avoid self-treatment as it can do more harm than good. Hormones are tricky to get right, so it’s best to leave it to an expert. If you’ve been feeling especially tired of late or seem to be extra bothered by the cold, it could be your thyroid. See your doctor and get it checked.



family activities

A day in Denver

Take a trip south and try something different KATIE HARRIS


ecember is holiday excitement, gift giving, decorations, Christmas carols, and family togetherness. In January we get out and enjoy the snow, skiing, sledding, and skating. But February? Well, if your family is anything like mine, by February you’re chilled to the bone, stir crazy, and generally over winter. It’s true, February can be rough. Shorter days, a lack of sunshine, poor road conditions, wind and ice all take their toll on kids and adults alike. The easiest solution to beating a case of the seasonal grumps is to get out of the house and do something different! If you’ve already used up all your local indoor ideas for the year, consider journeying just a bit further to the state’s capital city for a new adventure or two, and beat those winter blues! Now through the beginning of April, guests to the Denver Art Museum can explore the design process behind the costumes used in the Star Wars movies. The audio-guided tour requires a ticket purchased in advance online. In addition, the museum offers activities just for kids. The Just for Fun Family Center at the museum is currently featuring a Japanese theme; Creative Corners can be found throughout the museum with activities to inspire imagination and discovery; and Family Backpacks are available upon entry, chock-full of games, puzzles, and art activities for kids. The best part? The Denver Art Museum is always free for kids under 18! Find out more and reserve your tickets for Star Wars and the Power of Costume at Where can kids excavate fossils, explore reconstructed Native American dwellings, and investigate giant nebulae all in one place? The Denver Museum of Nature and Science of course! Plan



on spending the whole day exploring the exhibits, and catching a show at the IMAX theater or planetarium. There’s something for everyone at this Denver treasure. Visit for more information and theater schedules. Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum is the perfect day trip for the aviation enthusiast. In addition to a collection of 50 iconic aircrafts dating back as far as 1939, the museum also features space and rocketry exhibits. The Aviation Xtreme and MaxFlight Simulators give guests the opportunity to experience pilot life. To plan your visit, go to www. The word “garden” may not bring visions of winter activities to mind, but at the Denver Botanic Gardens every time of year is a good time to visit. The Annual Orchid Showcase, which runs through Feb. 20th, features hundreds

of exotic blooms, some extremely rare. The indoor gardens will make you feel like you’ve been transported in time to spring. While you’re there, visit the garden-inspired art galleries, which include “Edible: Botanical art and illustration” (through Feb. 12th) and “Elusive: Works by Andrew RobertsGray” (beginning Feb. 22nd). Visit for more information on programs. From somersaulting otters to majestic tigers, the Denver Aquarium has more than just fish. View iridescent jellyfish, colorful starfish, and maybe even...mermaids? That’s right, with over 500 species there’s no limit to what you might find at the aquarium. For an interactive experience stop and touch the rays on your way out. There’s also a 4D theater on site for a one-of-a-kind mini movie experience. Visit www. for details.








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| 11

learn and live

Dance…Like no one’s watching Build confidence through creative movement KIM SHARPE


ap your toes. Kick up your heels. Twirl. Spin. Jump! Whether you break out your moves in the middle of your kitchen or on a recital stage, dancing is a fun way to be active. It has many benefits beyond exercise, too. “Dance gives kids the opportunity to learn about and take ownership of their bodies while providing an outlet for personal expression,” says Jennissa Voorhees, director of The Studio located in Fort Collins, Loveland and Longmont. For example, “Ballet uses all five major areas of the brain simultaneously, therefore developing memory, problem solving, self-awareness and multitasking between logic and imagination.” Katie McSwain, owner, director of The Conservatory Dance Studio in Greeley and the Loveland Dance Academy, adds, “Dance is the universal language, bringing cultures together, bringing generations together. There is simply not another art or sport that



compares to the athletic, academic, artistic, emotional and expressive uniqueness of what dance offers.” Some parents shy away from enrolling their child in formal dance instruction because of the body issues associated with the art form, like bulimia and anorexia. Vorhees says, “Dance can sometimes get a bad reputation for inappropriate costumes or body image concerns, but when dance is taught as an art form rather than just entertainment, the good heavily outweighs the negative.” If a child doesn’t want to dance for dancing’s sake, they can use it “…to excel in their other activities or sports,” says McSwain. “Soccer players find stronger agility though tap. Football players find better balance and flexibility through ballet. Gymnasts find grace and style through jazz. The introverted kid discovers that hip-hop dance allows them to be bold, capable and mighty.” Dance creates a place of confidence and self-awareness. So when is the right time to introduce your child to dance? “Ideally,

students start in dance classes during their preschool ages where they can begin basic movement and terminology,” McSwain explains. “Starting at this young age is helpful but certainly not required! Students who begin a dance program between ages 7-9 can not only “catch-up” to the other students quickly, but often excel faster due to their maturity and responsiveness. And high school, college age and adult students can experience beginning-level classes geared for their needs and bodies.” She adds that when an older student who danced as a young child reintroduces dance into their lives, it can be very therapeutic. Parents also should remember that dance isn’t just a girly thing; it’s for boys, too. Vorhees says, “Parents of our ‘all boys’ classes have shared with me that their son’s sports skills have improved as a result of learning coordination and rhythm. It is fun to watch our boys find their groove in class, and those who do are never looking for a prom date, because who doesn’t love a guy who can kill it on the dance floor?”


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community news

Got knowledge? Need healing? NoCo supports life-long learning and natural connections KIM SHARPE


f knowledge is power, NoCo residents have the opportunity to be super heroes! New parents are invited to learn how to enhance their wee one’s development. Thirty-five lucky residents can learn how local law agencies work to keep our communities safe. And when we need a natural classroom to soak in life’s lessons or heal, our community offers beautiful outdoor places and spaces to enjoy. NOCO SHINES BRIGHT FOR BABIES, TODDLERS Wouldn’t it be great if every baby came with an instruction manual? Babies in Larimer and Weld County practically do. Bright by Three, a research-based program established in 1995, provides parents and caregivers with the tools and information they need to engage and care for babies and toddlers. Its Bright by Text and visitation program are free to any parent/caregiver who would like to receive them. “Our mission is to provide a bright beginning for all Colorado children by helping families support the physical, emotional, and intellectual development during the critical first three years of life,” says Jennifer Cajina Grigsby, Bright by Three program manager. “We have trained volunteers who visit with new parents and those with children up to age 3, and provide them with kits filled with support materials. The innovative Bright by Text program



distributes this same high-value early childhood content in bite-sized pieces via text message.” Last year, Bright by Three served over 45,000 parents/caregivers in Colorado, each caring for at least one child under age 3. In Weld County, over 3,000 families are enrolled. Larimer County boasts over 4,000 enrolled families. A recent grant from The Community Foundation of Weld County, Littler Fund supports Bright by Three outreach and expansion in Weld County to under-served families. Text BRIGHT (or BRILLANTE) to 444999 to enroll for free. Or, go to to request a visit. Learn more at www.bright ACADEMY LENDS INSIGHT ABOUT BEING A SHERIFF Have you ever wondered what it would like to be a sheriff and work in law enforcement? If so, you may want to enroll in the Spring Citizens Academy offered through the Larimer County Sheriff ’s Office. The Academy will begin on February 9 and run through May 4. Classes will meet on Thursdays, 6-9pm, plus one Saturday. Classes will not be held on March 16 during Poudre and Thompson School District, and CSU spring break. The Citizens Academy is designed to give participants an overview of the operations of the Larimer County

Sheriff ’s Office. Classes covering patrol operations, investigations, crime lab, emergency management and emergency services, SWAT and other special units, and volunteer operations will be taught by deputies and commanders responsible for each area. The academy also will include a tour of the Larimer County Jail and emergency communications center, a K9 demonstration, and the opportunity to ride along with a deputy. Participants also will enjoy live scenarios, where they’ll respond to calls involving live shooting with simulated ammunition, making simulated traffic stops, experiencing the firearms simulator, and processing a mock crime scene. The academy is limited to 35 students and fills up fast. Visit http:// for more information and to register. The fee for the academy is $30, which covers the cost of a student t-shirt, materials and lunch served during the field day. FORT COLLINS NATURE IN THE CITY RECEIVES RECOGNITION The City of Fort Collins’ Nature in the City program was selected through an internationally competitive process to be featured as a Success Story on NatureForAll’s website, www.natureforall. global/success-stories/. The #NatureForAll movement is meant to nurture a love for nature.

The website is sponsored by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to inspire a new generation of thinkers and doers across all sectors of society to connect with nature and take action to support its conservation. Fort Collins’ Nature in the City seeks to increase people’s connection to nature while enhancing wildlife habitat through innovative partnerships, policies, and projects Its vision is a connected open space network accessible to the entire community that provides a variety of experiences and functional habitat for people, plants and wildlife. The IUCN recognized that Nature in the City shares the very simple idea that the more people experience, connect with and share their love of nature, the more support there will be for its conservation. Success stories were chosen from different regions of the world to represent a range of innovative nature connection strategies.

CHILDREN’S HEALING GARDEN PLANS UNVEILED Pathways, a local nonprofit providing expert and compassionate hospice care, palliative care and grief and loss support for northern Colorado, has revealed its plans to create a Children’s Healing Garden on the east side of the Pathways Counseling Center, 305 Carpenter Rd., in Fort Collins. The $500,000 project will serve as a space for youth counseling clients to experience healing and active learning. “Many people forget that children, like adults, grieve after experiencing trauma,” says Tammy Brannen-Smith, Pathways director of grief and loss. “But at Pathways we know that children need love and attention to heal from tragedy. The garden will engage children in therapeutic activities to help them better understand their feelings and cope with the life-death cycle.” In 2016, Pathways for Grief and Loss cared for more than 600 children clients, twice as many children as those served in 2015. This includes

one-on-one counseling sessions, group counseling activities and involvement in all schools in the Poudre, Thompson and Weld County School Districts. The garden will include many unique features, including an oversized “bird’s nest” with an “eggs” seating area for one-on-one counseling; outdoor seating for group therapy; various paths and crossings of different textures for interaction in narrative play therapy; a memory garden; a sand play area; steps for moving between tiers; shade structures and trees; and a mandala area for art therapy. The Children’s Healing Garden was announced in November 2016 at Pathways’ Fundraising Breakfast: Planting the Seeds of Our Future. The project’s success relies heavily on the generosity of sponsors and donors within the community. Many giving opportunities are available. For more information, please contact Tammy Brannen-Smith at 970292-1072 or tammy.brannen-smith@


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healthy living

Assessing your energy

Simple changes create big changes on your bills LEA HANSON


f you feel you need to replace your water heater but don’t know if it is worth it, are considering new energy-efficient windows or upgrading your appliances to use less water, take a step back and think first about how your home uses energy. A home energy audit is not only the first step to saving energy and money, it will help you make informed decisions about the efficient upgrades you are considering. Sometimes called an energy assessment, a home energy audit helps you learn how you use energy, determine where it’s being wasted, and will help you prioritize your efficiency upgrades. Making energy efficiency upgrades identified in a home energy audit can save 5-30 percent on your monthly energy bill while also ensuring the health and safety of your house. A professionally performed assessment will illuminate problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time. Professional energy assessments generally go into great detail to assess your home’s energy use. During a professional energy audit, an energy auditor analyzes your energy bills, completes visual, health and safety inspections, and may use special equipment—such as a blower door and an infrared camera—to detect sources of energy loss. The standard audit takes around two hours; additional time is often needed to conduct blower and infrared tests. A blower door test measures the amount of leakage in a home by measuring the amount of air needed to keep your home at an elevated ideal pressure. An infrared test consists of a thorough visual inspection of a home, including the basement, attic, and other nooks and crannies, with an infrared camera or another infrared assessment device. It essentially takes the guesswork out of pinpointing the 16


drafty and leaky spots within your home. Remember, the home energy audit is only the first step to cutting your energy bills. Making the recommended energy efficiency upgrades is what leads to energy savings. Luckily, for residents of northern Colorado, a number of city-supported rebate programs can also put dollars back into your pockets. The municipalities of Fort Collins, Greeley, and Loveland all offer an array of rebate programs that provide direct reward for your intentional actions of reducing the energy and water resources you are using in your home. Depending on the community in which you reside, rebates are available for those who replace windows, seal air ducts, add insulation, and install more efficient appliances, furnaces, and air conditioning systems. HOME EFFICIENCY AUDITS AND REBATE PROGRAMS

Fort Collins: conserve/home-efficiency-program/

Greeley (water efficiency audits only): vation/water-audits Loveland: partments/water-and-power/residential/con serve/home-efficiency-audit-and-rebates

Due to the arid climate and fairly regular state of drought we experience in northern Colorado, water audits are especially important to the environment in addition to offering a break to your water bill. All homes could benefit from a water audit, but homes more than 20 years old will typically see the most savings. Water audits include the assessment of high-water-use appliances, showerheads and aerators, as well as irrigation systems. Get More Information on Conservation Rebates Fort Collins: conserve/rebates-programs Greeley: servation/water-conservation-rebates Loveland: water-and-power/residential/conserve


| 17

No strings attached

Lynn U. Nichols



your kids with





t’s February and love is in the air. Do you relish picking out valentines and planning surprises or would you rather avoid the hype? The holiday might not always feel sincere, but the sentiment is: letting those you love know that you love them. There’s no better place to put this into practice than with your kids—not just for a day, but also all year long. Carl Rogers, a well-known psychologist through the ages advocated that merely loving our kids was not enough—we needed to love them unconditionally. That means no strings attached. We can’t just love our kids when they are doing what we say or performing at our expected level. We can’t just love our kids for being like we are—holding the same values and beliefs or liking the same sports or activities. You probably see that as obvious, but in

practice things can get a little bit mucky. We’ve all done it: consider the last time you showed love and appreciation when your child did something “right” and showed disapproval when they did something “wrong?” You may not have consciously done so, but in your response you sent a message that your love and approval comes with conditions. So how do we love unconditionally, yet still discipline and guide our children to become good, responsible adults? When done right, loving unconditionally doesn’t mean lax rules and always saying yes. It means staying true to our own codes and expectations, yet enforcing those limits without judgment, and with a motive to guide rather than punish. It means letting your kids know that you love them, even if you don’t always like what they might do. “Unconditional love is sending the

message that I’m here for you, no matter what,” says Kristin Glenn, educator with The Women’s Clinic. AVOID SNAP REACTIONS One way you send the message of unconditional love is by not making snap reactions. When your child is doing something annoying or disrespectful, try to stop and pause before responding, and put yourself in your kid’s shoes. Scan your child’s behavior for hidden meanings to increase empathy. Is he lashing out at his friend because he had a hard day at school? If so, that’s not the right response, but it makes it more understandable and you can consequence with love rather than anger. When something big happens, you may need to take more time and that’s okay. A waiting period lets both parties settle down and come from a more rational place. Glenn teaches a class called Girl Talk: Mother Daughter Workshop for moms and daughters ages 9 to 12. It’s a jam session on self-esteem, friendship, bullying and body changes (visit fcwc. com for upcoming classes). She discusses the ‘24-hour rule.’ “It’s a mom’s way of saying, ‘I’ve got your back.’ As a pre-teen or teen, if you get in a bad situation the 24-hour rule goes into effect. It means that I, as a parent, won’t lecture or consequence you for 24 hours. It gives everyone a chance to settle down and look at it the next day from a fresh perspective,” Glenn says.

BE THEIR BIGGEST FAN When your kids talk, stop and listen. If you are busy, consider delaying what you are doing and being present with them. If you can’t, explain that you want to hear what they have to say and let them know when you are free. Send the message that you think they are just fine the way they are. In other words, even when you want to pass judgment and shout, ‘what were you thinking?’ or criticize their behavior, step back and try to understand where they are coming from, and ask yourself if your motivation is to support or scold. There is great freedom and comfort for your kids when they know they have at least one person in their lives that loves them no matter what. Be that person for your kids. When you measure your kids in terms of their accomplishments and insist they live to set strict standards (getting all As, scoring goals), they might get the message that they have to earn your love. A recent study revealed that parents who held high standards and often criticized had kids who were more scared of failing than their peers. Because of this, they were less likely to take risks and develop new skills. ADMIT YOUR MISTAKES AND SHARE YOUR FEELINGS When you show your kids your underbelly

at times, like sharing your own personal struggles as a child or sharing and discussing your emotions, you allow your kids to reveal their softer sides, too. You send the message that showing and sharing emotions shows strength, not weakness. Intimacy is the key to happiness, and a big player in respect. “It’s inspiring to see parents, especially dads, admit their own mistakes and allow their kids to make mistakes. That’s unconditional love,” says Glenn. A study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that children who received affection and nurturing from a young age had better brain development. Brain scans on the studied children’s hippocampuses, the part of the brain that controls response to stress, learning abilities and memory, were larger in kids who were well nurtured. Another study conducted at UCLA found kids whose parents were affectionate and gave love unconditionally were happier. The study determined that parental warmth created less stressed kids who didn’t live under the constant pressure of having to succeed and prove themselves. Finally, other studies show that kids whose parents put conditions on love grow to dislike their parents and maintain distance. “Bottom line, your kids may screw up, but you don’t stop loving them,” concludes Glenn.

BE DEPENDABLE IN LOVE AND LIMITS Be sticks-in-the-mud when it comes to enforcing house rules. Kids may balk at rules but it provides them a sense of security. When they know what to expect, they can relax into it. If you are consistent with rules and deliver them in a calm manner the emotions are removed and rules become accepted as ‘the way it is.’ When your kids challenge you as teenagers, by standing strong you serve as the brick wall for them to lean against, or rage against. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves as parents. Unconditional love is not being selfless. If you give until you are drained you may resent your kids and experience your frustration coming out sideways. RMPARENT

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grey matter


One out of four people—adults and children— suffer from some form of mental illness or emotional disorder.



Learn to recognize warning signs for mental-health problems Kim Sharpe


n 2016 in Larimer County, 80 people committed suicide, according to the Larimer County Coroner’s Office. The number is not final for 2016 as some cases are pending. Four of those were youth or children under the age of 18. Last year in Weld County, at least 46 lives were lost to suicide; two of those were youth ages 10-18. Twelve percent of teenagers said they have had suicidal thoughts and eight percent said they’ve attempted suicide at least once, according to the 2015

Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. These numbers and percentages scream out for attention. They emphasize that human brains are part of the human body and just as susceptible to illness as other parts, like hearts or stomachs or lungs. They underscore the fact that “mental health issues are common and nothing to be ashamed of,” says Emily Leetham, who coordinates local Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Trainings.


Receive mental health, substance use or emotional support for you or someone you know… u Emergency (for police, ambulance, etc.) – 911 u National Suicide Hotline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) u Colorado Crisis Support Line – Available 24/7/365. Call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or Text TALK to 38255. u Colorado Crisis Services – Offers local care to people of all ages in behavioral health crisis: In Larimer County at 1217 Riverside Ave., Fort Collins. 970-494-4200. In Weld County at 928 12th St., Greeley. 970-347-2120.

u Mobile Crisis Units are available to travel across Weld and Larimer Counties to reach

people in crisis and transport them to services. Call 970-494-4200 in Larimer or 970-3472120 in Weld County to reach a local Mobile Crisis Unit.

More Local Resources u Child, Adolescents and Young Adult Connections (CAYAC) – 970-221-3308,

u Clear View Behavioral Health – Serving the Loveland/Johnstown are of northern Colorado., 970-461-5061.

u Heart-Centered Counseling – Same day appointments in Fort Collins, Greeley and Love-

land. Accepts Medicaid, Medicare and all major insurances., 970-310-3406. u Mental Health Connections – A partnership between the Health District of Northern Larimer County and SummitStone Health Partners. 525 W. Oak St. (located inside SummitStone Health Partners), Fort Collins. Walk-ins: 8am-4pm. Phone help available 24 hours: 970221-5551. u North Range Behavioral Health – Serving Weld County communities., 970-347-2120. u SummitStone Health Partners – Serving Larimer County communities with locations in Fort Collins, Loveland and Estes Park., 970-494-4200. Symptoms that suggest a child may be struggling with mental-health issues include:

WHEN TO BE CONCERNED Mental health issues often are hard to detect, especially in children, because sometimes they’re written off as normal developmental phases or willful bad behavior. In teens, symptoms of mental issues often are confused with the moodiness and rebellion they sometimes display that’s related to drastic hormonal changes and trying to navigate the journey from childhood to adulthood. North Range Behavioral Health offers an extensive list of symptoms at:

Recurring bad dreams Headache or upset stomach that happens repeatedly, but doesn’t appear related to illness Destroying toys and other items Persistently disruptive behavior at school or home with little understanding of consequences Being very afraid of certain places, people or things Problems with learning, including at school or about routines at home Eating problems, both eating too much and eating too little Persistent conflict with others

Additional behaviors that suggest a form of treatment might be helpful for teenagers include: Sadness or moodiness that lasts a week or more

Overly-sexualized or promiscuous behavior Angry or assaultive behavior Persistent school problems, including truancy, failing, problems with peers Not being motivated for school, hobbies or friends Statements about not wanting to live or efforts to hurt him/herself or others Hurting animals or being deliberately mean to younger children or older adults Involvement with law enforcement, including stealing, assault, lying, or vandalism Delinquent behavior, gang involvement Running away from home or school Changes in sleeping habits Repeated lying.

“Parents and teachers are often the first adults to notice when a child is struggling with mental health, however, other family members, coaches, youth leaders, social service workers, etc., might notice issues, too,” says Leetham. That’s why she feels “anyone RMPARENT

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Get informed. Get involved. Alliance for Suicide Prevention –, 970-482-2209. Imagine Zero – Be part of the solution., 970-214-8955. Mental Health Colorado – Join the advocacy network and help expand their focus in northern Colorado. Mental Health First Aid –

and everyone” should become better educated about mental health and can benefit from taking a Mental Health First Aid course. “It was created to lessen the stigma around mental health issues and to encourage people to seek care and help.”

their websites or call for upcoming training dates and details. “We all just want to make sure everybody has the opportunity to equip themselves with the tools to reach out and offer support when they see a kiddo struggling,” says Leetham.

MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID MHFA is an eight-hour course that gives people the skills to recognize warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, as well as the tools to help someone who may be developing a mental health-related problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. YMHFA is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people, such as parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other community providers. The Health District of Northern Larimer County and Connections Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resources will offer YMHFA trainings on Friday, Feb. 24, and Thursday, March 23, 8am-5pm, at the Health District, 120 Bristlecone Drive in Fort Collins. The training is free, but space is limited. (For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Emily Leetham at 970-4944370 or Summitstone Health Partners and North Range Behavioral Health also frequently offer the trainings. Check

A COMMUNITY THAT CARES Many other groups are working to raise awareness about mental illness and the resources available to help people in need. The Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Connections (CAYAC) is a grant-funded service that helps youth and their families identify mental health and substance use concerns and get connected to proper care. It’s a partnership between Summitstone, the Health District and Poudre School District. Since its establishment in August 2016, its team has helped 300 families. “We know oftentimes families have no idea where to go for help when they have a child acting out in class, who’s labeled as stubborn or bad,” says Kristen Cochran-Ward, CAYAC coordinator. “We want parents to know resources are available to help them when they feel at their wits end. We can help connect them to those resources.” The Alliance for Suicide Prevention uses Raising Awareness of Personal Power—or RAPP lessons—to teach middle and high school students about signs of depression, suicidal



warning signs, and how to help themselves or a friend, typically as part of a health class. The Vision Zero coalition, with chapters in Larimer and Weld Counties, is a group of agency representatives and concerned citizens who’ve been grappling for about a year with “how to solve the mystery of why northern Colorado has such a high suicide rate,” says Audrey Baird, who helps coordinate the group. “We all understand mental health is a multi-faceted problem that requires multiple approaches. We want to be part of the solution.” HOPE FOR HEALING The message mental health professionals want to convey is that very often mental health problems are treatable and suicide is preventable, but it’s important to be informed and not be afraid to talk about these issues. “If parents see signs and symptoms, it can be the scariest thing in the world,” says Audrey Baird, who helps coordinate Imagine Zero. She says the best thing to do is “be open, ask questions and be forthright. A lot of people think that if you talk about suicide, you will encourage it, but just the opposite is true. We have to talk more about it. We have to listen to children. We have to be there for them and for each other.”



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greeley-evans district 6 news Students selected for all-state music groups

High school students throughout Greeley-Evans School District 6 have been named to all-state music and chorale groups, one of the highest honors bestowed on high school talent. Here are students named to various all state groups this year:

• ALL-STATE CHOIR Katie Gorsline, Greeley West High School Cassie Bradshaw, Greeley West High School Tyler Maas, Greeley West High School Jaydn Bowen, Greeley Central High School Jeremy Hundley, Greeley Central High School Loren Johnston, Greeley Central High School Madison Romanowski, Greeley Central High School Madelyn Wampler, Greeley Central High School Jesse Allen, Frontier Academy John Palmer, Frontier Academy Hunter Phipps, Frontier Academy Scott VanBeber, University Schools Emily Coleman, University Schools • ALL-STATE JAZZ BAND Amaya Arevalo, Greeley Central High School • ALL-STATE ORCHESTRA Annette Miller, Greeley West High School • ALL STATE CONCERT BAND Victorial Vindiola, University Schools Allison Palmer, Frontier Academy Quinton Royle-Grimes, Frontier Academy Katie Bridgman (first alternate), Frontier Academy • ALL-STATE SYMPHONIC BAND



Kim Martin, Frontier Academy

These groups will rehearse and perform throughout the state during the semester. Consult websites for the various groups to confirm performance times and locations. MEETINGS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION ABOUT NEW SCHOOL Families who would like to learn more about the proposed Fred Tjardes School of Innovation are invited to attend one of three community meetings planned over the next few weeks. The Fred Tjardes School of Innovation is a new school being proposed in Greeley-Evans School District 6 that would focus on project-based learning for students in grades kindergarten through 8th grade. The school would be located in downtown Greeley, and is slated to open in August 2017, pending approval by the District 6 Board of Education and the state Board of Education. The purpose of these meetings is to answer questions about the school, provide more information to families interested in the school, and provide enrollment information. Light refreshments will be served and childcare will be provided. Spanish language translation will also be provided at all the sessions.

The schedule for the Fred Tjardes School of Innovation Community meetings is:

• Wednesday, February 8 at 6pm, at the District 6 Administration Building, 1025 9th Avenue in Greeley • Thursday, February 16 at 6pm. at the Rodarte Center, 920 A Street in Greeley

Anyone interested in learning more about the proposed Fred Tjardes School of Innovation is invited to attend any of these meetings. For more information, please visit BOARD OF EDUCATION CHANGES MEETING TIMES The Greeley-Evans School District 6 Board of Education will begin hosting its regular, semi-monthly meetings at 6pm beginning with the Monday, January 9, 2017 meeting. In December, the Board of Education voted to move its regular meeting time from 7pm to 6pm in 2017. The earlier meeting time will help accommodate the schedule of staff members who attend meetings, as well as students and the general public who attend meetings. Board agendas are posted online and can be accessed through the District 6 website at under the “Our District” tab at the top of the home page.

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poudre school district news Ten ways schools are helping kids stay fit this winter

With the cold weather and short days limiting outdoor activity, our schools are coming up with innovative ways to keep students active and engaged. Check out these 10 unique winter activities across the district: 1. At Red Feather Elementary, students take advantage of their proximity to the Rocky Mountains to go snowshoeing on local nature trails. Both Red Feather and neighboring Livermore Elementary also incorporate yoga, brain breaks and fitness videos into their classrooms! 2. Kruse Elementary kiddos are kicking their way through karate classes, thanks to the school’s PTO Fit Club, which also hosts activities like Bike to School Day and Fitness Boot Camp. 3. A little bit of snow isn’t stopping Blevins middle-schoolers from getting outside. The school’s running club meets twice a week after school, regardless of the weather. In fact, many schools host running clubs for students. Zach, Dunn, Lopez, Timnath, Bethke and Shepardson Elementary and Poudre Global Academy all just a few of the schools with active running clubs. 4. Johnson Elementary teacher Bridget Berthold hosts morning Zumba classes for students before school starts. 26


“This helps them get their wiggles out before school starts,” Berthold says. “It gets the whole school together as a community, and it gives the kids a chance to make new friends.” 5. Middle and high school students will come together for the first annual Summit for Student Wellness at Colorado State University in February, as part of a new Student Wellness Initiative in all secondary schools. “We are hoping to increase the student voice in health education and wellness as well as provide an opportunity for our schools to connect and collaborate on health issues that our community faces,” says Amanda Brantley, Health Education and Wellness Coordinator. 6. Students at Putnam Elementary can bop into an Aerobic Dance Party after school’s out thanks to PSD After Three, an extended learning opportunity offered through the Department of Language, Culture and Equity. At nearby Irish Elementary, students have the opportunity to play soccer, try Tae Kwon Do or learn the art of folk dancing. 7. Lesher Middle School teachers with a passion for climbing host an after-school climbing club at Inner Strength Rock Gym for interested students.

“You get this really cool relationship between you and the student, where you can get them to belay you while you’re climbing and catch you. To then teach them in class is really powerful and relationship-building,” tech engineering and robotics teacher Owen Murphy says. 8. The FIRST (Fitness is Really Sweet) club at Bethke Elementary organizes games for students to play in the gym before school starts. “We want all Bobcats to be active, healthy and have prepared minds to learn prior to school,” P.E. teacher Terri Keyworth says. 9. Fourth- and fifth-grade girls at various schools will participate in BstrongBfit, an eight-week program that emphasizes health and positive self-esteem and promotes physical activity through running. At the end of the challenge, the girls complete a 5K race together! 10. Each February, dozens of schools participate in the 5210 Schools on the Move Challenge, which encourages students and families to track their healthy habits and turn in logs. Schools can win money for student, staff and family participation. IRISH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FIRST GRADERS RECEIVE NEW BIKES There were tears of joy in the gymnasium at Irish Elementary School when representatives from the CAN’d Aid Foundation announced every single first grade student would receive a new bicycle. “The kids and parents get really excited and emotional about getting a bike,” Sarah Leavitt, program director at CAN’d Aid says with a smile. The foundation teamed up with Oscar Blues Brewery and High Country Beverage, which donated a portion of their sales in September towards purchasing more than 60 bikes. Other local partners including Bike Fort Collins, Safe Routes to School and Recycled Cycles pitched in to register the bikes and purchase locks and helmets.

PSD Calendar of Events Feb. 14.......... 6 :30pm, Board of Education business meeting, JSSC, 2407 Laporte Ave. Feb. 17.......... No school K-5 Feb. 20.......... No school K-12 Feb. 28.......... 6 :30pm, Board of Education business meeting, JSSC, 2407 Laporte Ave.

“It’s a huge part of our company culture to keep fostering the love of riding bikes,” says Shannon McGrath, sales representative for Oskar Blues Brewery. “It’s great for kids to be outside.” Physical education teacher Mark Bartlett is excited to continue developing a culture of biking at Irish, too. The school hosted a bike club in the fall, and hopes to have another in the spring. “Biking is something we want to be a staple here at Irish,” Bartlett explains. “We’re working to get kids outdoors as much as we can. The kids are excited to get these bikes, and they’re excited to get outside and ride them. I want to keep watering that seed so that we can grow students who are enthusiastic about the outdoors.” Outdoor activity is a shared value not only between the school and the brewery, but also within the entire northern Colorado community as a whole. “Biking gives you that first sense of independence as a child,” Leavitt says. “We want to give those opportunities to kids around the nation.” PSD GRADUATION RATE INCREASES PSD’s on-time graduation rate increased by 2.8 percent last year, from 78.6 percent

in 2015 to 81.4 percent in 2016. Taking into account students enrolled in a concurrent fifth year with local colleges, the true rate is 83.4 percent.    The increase comes after several years of a declining graduation rate. New efforts by PSD’s high school staff are a main reason for the increase. Programs designed to provide extra assistance to students identified as being at risk of dropping out or not graduating on time are big factors in the rate hike.   PSD high schools took several proactive actions during the 2015-16 school year, many specific to their student populations including:   • Increased access to the Aventa Credit Recovery Program, which provides an alternative way for students to earn the

240 credits necessary for graduation. Some high schools also increased the time available for students to pursue credit recovery options at school.   • Enhanced usage of a new data dashboard that allows school administrators to track the progress of students who are not on track to graduate, allowing them to provide targeted support to atrisk students.  Administrators and school counselors check the grades of freshmen every three weeks and provide intense interventions to support struggling students. • Hired graduation advocates, who check in frequently with students who are not on track to graduate and provide individualized support to improve their outcomes.  • Utilized Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) teams at the schools to monitor the progress of students who are struggling and provide interventions to help them succeed.   • Focused on relationships with students to determine individual supports needed to meet graduation goals.

“Our high schools have been very purposeful in providing supports for students that will help them to graduate,” Superintendent Dr. Sandra Smyser says.  “We’re excited that this hard work is showing a measurable impact.”   Statewide, the graduation rate increased from 77.35 percent in 2015 to 78.9 percent in 2016. RMPARENT

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thompson school district news Class raises funds for UNICEF

This year’s sixth-grade class at Bill Reed Middle School raised more than $1,500 in a recent campaign to benefit UNICEF. UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency

Fund) is an organization that was founded for the purpose of assisting children anywhere in the world where there is a need. The organization recently celebrated 60 years of providing necessities such as clean drinking water, immunizations to prevent disease, and access to schools and teachers so that students have an opportunity to learn. This was Bill Reed Middle School’s 11th year of allowing kids the opportunity to help other students. SARAH BLISS NAMED ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AT THOMPSON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL Thompson School District is pleased to announce that Sarah Bliss has been named an assistant principal at Thompson Valley High School. She fills the position that was recently vacated by Howard Disney, who has departed the district. Ms. Bliss comes to Thompson School District after most recently serving as assistant principal at Prairie View Middle School in Henderson, Colorado.  Her career experience also includes



service as a teacher at Brighton Heritage Academy in Brighton. Ms. Bliss earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Iowa State University and has completed the “Teacher in Residence” program through Metro State University. She holds a Masters Degree in Education Administration from the University of Phoenix and is currently enrolled in the Education doctoral program at the University of Colorado in Denver. For more information, please contact Michael Hausmann, Thompson School District Public Information Officer, at 970-613-5011. EARLY COLLEGE CREDIT PROGRAM CONTINUES TO GROW Thompson School District is pleased to offer several opportunities for students to earn college credit while still in high school.  All students earn high school credits while also receiving college credits. The program tuition is paid by Thompson School District, while students pay program fees (such as books). 

Career Pathways: This opportunity is offered through Front Range Community College’s dedicated yearlong high school programs, with eleven career and technical program options available to students. High School Select: High school teachers who meet the qualifications of a college-level faculty member typically teach these classes. TSD partners with AIMS Community College, Front Range Community College and the University of Colorado. The curriculum is taught at the college level and students are expected to meet all college-level expectations.   Campus Select: Students enroll in classes at the college campus with other college students. Thompson School District partners with AIMS Community College, Front Range Community College and the University of Colorado for this program. These are college-level courses and students are expected to meet all collegelevel expectations. For more information on any of the above programs, please call 970-6136773 or visit


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lunchbox POUDRE SCHOOL DISTRICT—Elementary student lunches are $2.55, secondary student lunches are $2.80 and reduced lunches are PK-5 free, grades 6-12 $0.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Thai chicken fried rice; hamburger/ cheeseburger 2 Beef tacos & cilantro lime rice 3 Chicken or cheese pizza 6 Toasted cheese sandwich & tomato soup; chicken nuggets 7 Cheese ravioli; turkey gravy & roll 8 Teriyaki chicken w/rice; trout treasures 9 Chicken drumstick & roll; chili & cinnamon roll 10 Pepperoni or cheese pizza; Mediterranean pasta salad 13 Pizza burger; mac n’cheese 14 Beef lasagna; hot ham and cheese

15 Asian noodles w/chicken; pig in a blanket 16 Chicken tacos & lime cilantro rice 17 NO school! 20 NO school! 21 Cheese calzone dipper w/marinara; spaghetti & meat sauce 22 Orange chicken & rice; hot dog 23 Beef & bean burrito; chicken patty sandwich 24 Pepperoni or cheese pizza 27 Chicken patty sandwich; potato bar w/ chili 28 Chicken Alfredo; chicken bites & roll MIDDLE SCHOOLS

1 Asian Bar—Teriyaki chicken/beef & egg roll 2 Beef & bean burrito bar 3 Trout treasures; mac n’cheese 6 BBQ pork sandwich; shredded BBQ chicken sandwich 7 Beef lasagna; chicken nuggets 8 Asian bar—Orange chicken /beef + egg roll 9 Beef & chicken taco bar 10 Turkey gravy & roll; chicken drumstick & roll 13 Toasted cheese sandwich & tomato soup; chicken bites & roll 14 Baked ziti pasta; meatball sub

15 Asian bar—Thai chili, chicken/beef + egg roll 16 Beef & bean burrito bar 17 Pig in a blanket; chili & cinnamon roll 20 NO school! 21 Cheese calzone dipper w/marinara; penne & meat sauce 22 Asian bar: sweet & sour; beef/chicken + egg roll 23 Beef & chicken taco bar 24 Philly cheesesteak beef or chicken; buffalo chicken pizza 27 Tortilla soup bar 28 Spaghetti & meatballs; cheese ravioli

THOMPSON R2J SCHOOL DISTRICT—Elementary lunches are $2.75. Secondary school lunches are $3. Reduced lunches are PK-5 free, grades 6-12 $0.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Baked ziti; chef salad w/roll 2 Chicken w/mashed potatoes & gravy; Caesar salad w/roll 3 Grilled cheese sandwich; garden entrée salad w/goldfish 6 French bread boat; PBJ dipper basket 7 Dominos’ pizza; burrito grande 8 Domino’s pizza; mac n’cheese 9 Domino’s pizza; sweet & sour chicken w/rice 10 Chicken strip basket; garden entrée salad w/goldfish 13 Hamburger; fruit salad w/yogurt 14 Chicken quesadilla; chicken tender

salad w/roll 15 Meatball sub; chef salad w/roll 16 Pancakes & sausage; Caesar salad w/roll 17 Pizza; garden entrée salad w/goldfish 20-21 NO school! 22 Chicken Alfredo pasta; chef salad w/ roll 23 Turkey w/mashed potatoes & gravy; Caesar salad w/roll 24 Fish sandwich; garden salad w/goldfish 27 Chicken breast nuggets; fruit salad w/ yogurt 28 Mardi Gras Jambalaya; chicken tender salad w/roll MIDDLE SCHOOLS

1 Baked ziti; chicken dipper bites 2 Chicken w/mashed potatoes & gravy; enchiladas 3 Grilled cheese sandwich; garden entrée salad w/goldfish 6 French bread boat; fruit salad w/yogurt 7 Chicken tender salad; burrito grande 8 Chef salad; mac n’cheese 9 Caesar salad w/roll; sweet & sour chicken w/rice 10 Chicken strip basket; garden entrée salad w/goldfish 13 Hamburger; fruit salad w/yogurt 14 Chicken quesadilla; chicken tender salad w/roll

15 Meatball sub; chef salad w/roll 16 Dominos pizza; Caesar salad w/roll 17 Pancakes & sausage; garden entrée salad w/goldfish 20-21 NO school! 22 Chicken Alfredo pasta; chef salad w/roll 23 Turkey w/mashed potatoes & gravy; Caesar salad w/roll 24 Fish sandwich; garden salad w/goldfish 27 Chicken breast nuggets; fruit salad w/ yogurt 28 Mardi Gras Jambalaya; chicken tender salad w/roll

GREELEY DISTRICT 6— Elementary lunches are $2.55, and middle school lunches are $2.80, reduced-price lunches are K-2 free, 3-8 $.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Chicken soft taco; PBJ 2 Pork carnitas; turkey & cheese hoagie 3 Hawaiian or cheese pizza; PBJ 6 NO school! 7 Taco; chicken salad sandwich 8 Chicken gumbo w/green chili; PBJ 9 Bean & cheese burrito; ham & cheese wrap 10 Green chili chicken or cheese pizza; PBJ 13 Teriyaki chicken w/brown rice; Italian sandwich 14 Cheese enchiladas w/fiesta rice; chicken fajita wrap

15 Shepherd’s pie w/dinner roll; PBJ 16 Baked ziti w/breadstick; turkey & cheese hoagie 17 Cheese or pepperoni pizza; PBJ 20 NO school! 21 Chili w/cinnamon roll; pesto chicken salad wrap 22 Hamburger/cheeseburger; PBJ 23 Pot roast w/dinner roll; ham & cheese wrap 24 Cheese or chicken, bacon, ranch pizza; PBJ 27 Breakfast for lunch; Italian sandwich 28 Herb chicken dinner roll; chicken fajita wrap

MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Chicken soft taco; PBJ 2 Pork carnitas; turkey & cheese hoagie 3 Hawaiian or cheese pizza; PBJ 6 NO school! 7 Taco; chicken salad sandwich 8 Chicken gumbo w/green chili; PBJ 9 Bean & cheese burrito; ham & cheese wrap 10  Green chili chicken or cheese pizza; PBJ 13 Teriyaki chicken w/brown rice; Italian sandwich 14 Cheese enchiladas w/fiesta rice; chicken fajita wrap 15 Shepherd’s pie w/dinner roll; PBJ

16 Baked ziti w/breadstick; turkey & cheese hoagie 17 Cheese or pepperoni pizza; PBJ 20 NO school! 21 Chili w/cinnamon roll; pesto chicken salad wrap 22 Hamburger/cheeseburger; PBJ 23 Pot roast w/dinner roll; ham & cheese wrap 24 Cheese or chicken, bacon, ranch pizza; PBJ 27 Breakfast for lunch; Italian sandwich 28 Herb chicken dinner roll; chicken fajita wrap

WINDSOR SCHOOL DISTRICT—Price for elementary lunch is $2.75, for middle school students, $3. Reduced lunches are elementary, free; middle school, $0.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Waffle sticks; breakfast burrito 2 Popcorn chicken; PBJ 3 Cheese & Hawaiian pizza; turkey & cheese sub 6 Chicken tenders; PBJ sandwich 7 Chicken street taco; mini cheeseburger 8 Pancakes & sausage; corn dog 9 Mini raviolis; PBJ sandwich 10 Cheese & veggie pizza; turkey & cheese sub 13 Grilled cheese & tomato soup; PBJ 14  Chicken sandwich; mini cheeseburger



15 Teriyaki chicken; corndog 16 BBQ sandwich; PBJ sandwich 17 NO school! 20 NO school! 21 Chicken Alfredo; mini cheeseburger 22 Chicken & black bean chili; corn dog 23 Hamburger; PBJ 24 Cheese pizza; turkey & cheese sub 27 Mac n’cheese; PBJ 28 Cheesy nachos; mini cheeseburger SECONDARY SCHOOL 1 Teriyaki chicken; cheese pizza 2 Shredded BBQ pork; chicken nuggets

3 Steak & cheese; cheese pizza 6 Chili dog; cheese pizza 7 Chicken street taco; cheese burger 8 Pancakes & sausage; cheese pizza 9 Chicken tenders w/gravy & mashed potatoes; popcorn chicken 10 Pepperoni calzone; cheese pizza 13 Potato bar w/chili or broccoli & cheese; cheese pizza 14 Rotini w/tomato sauce; French bread pizza 15 Burrito bar; cheese pizza 16 Lasagna; hot dog wrap

17 NO school! 20 NO school! 21 Chicken Alfedo; cheese sandwich 22 Chicken & black bean chili w/cinnamon roll; cheese pizza 23 Cheeseburger; chicken tenders 24 Meatball sub; cheese pizza 27 Pasta bar; cheese pizza 28 Three cheese enchiladas; hot & spicy chicken sandwich


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February 2017 ONGOING Car Seat Distribution and Education Class Provides a new car seat and education on how to use it properly to families who otherwise cannot afford a seat. $30 donation requested. One car seat per family per year. Offered once in LV and twice in FC each month. Dates and time varies. 970-495-7508, car-seat-resources/. Se Habla Español. FEBRUARY 9, 16, 23 Excursions in Art for Youth Take a journey by way of the Museum’s exhibits. Learn about art, history and culture through presentations and activities. $25/session; $20 for members. Grades 3-8. Loveland Museum/ Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 12noon-3pm. 970-962-2410, www. FEBRUARY 10-12 Loveland Fire & Ice Festival Features firework, carnival, ice sculpting, live entertainment, fire performances, more. Family friendly. Downtown Loveland, 4th St. & Railroad Ave., LV. Times vary.

THROUGH FEBRUARY 18 Korean Embroidery: A Master of Tradition On display for the first time in the U.S.! The elaborate artwork and handicraft of Jungji Doh, who was recently bestowed the title of “Master in Korean Traditional Embroidery” by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. Global Village Museum of Arts and Culture, 200 W. Mountain Ave., FC. Times vary. Jan. 6 exhibit opening is 6-9pm; free admission. 970-221-4600, www. THROUGH MARCH 12 Forever Plaid A funny, nostalgic romp that features some of the best pop songs from the 1950s. Ticket prices vary. Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, 4747 Marketplace Dr., FC. Johnstown. Times vary. 970-7443747, THROUGH JULY 30 Painting the World Beautiful Enjoy a panorama of breathtaking scenes from around the world. On display will be the exquisite works of three local artists: Don Vogl, Rosalie

“Rosie” Sinnett, and Joe Flores. Global Village Museum of Arts and Culture, 200 W. Mountain Ave., FC. Times vary. Jan. 6 exhibit opening is 6-9pm; free admission. 970-221-4600, www. FEBRUARY 6 THROUGH APRIL 24 The Parent Café Join other parents, share stories, build a support network, grow friendships and learn how to better parent utilizing the Strengthening Families Protective Factors. Dinner and children’s activities provided. Registration required. Free. Thompson School Admin. Bldg., 800 S. Taft Ave., LV. 5-7pm. 970-413-1321, www.thematthewshouse. org/families/parent-cafe/. MONDAYS AND TUESDAYS (except holidays) Read & Seed Preschool Program Stories and activities that build early language comprehension, fine motor skills and curiosity about the world. Preschoolers and their grown-ups. $3 per participating child; no charge for adults. Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 10am & 11am. 970-416-2486,

Hours of Operation: M-Th 8-5pm, Fri 8-4 Fort Collins (970) 493-7442

Loveland (970) 493-7442




TUESDAYS THROUGH MARCH Chess Club Learn rules and strategies for chess from approved instructors who are experienced in teaching beginners through intermediate levels of play. Ages 6-10. Loveland Public Library, children’s story time room, 300 Adams Ave., LV. 4-5:30pm. 970-962-2587, www. TUESDAYS, FEBRUARY 14 THROUGH MARCH 21 Powerful Tools for Caregivers Acquire 35 helpful tools for caregiving to help you avoid burnout and be a better caregiver to your loved one. Elderhaus Adult Day, 6813 S. College Ave., FC. 10am-12noon. 970-221-0406, www. TUESDAYS THROUGH SATURDAYS, THROUGH FEBRUARY 18 Europe-Tales & Traditions Celebrate America’s European heritage. Includes a European Christmas Market exhibit complete with snow globes, nutcrackers, international Santas and gingerbread houses. $5 per adult; $3 for seniors/students; $1 for youth. Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, 200 W. Mountain Ave., FC. 11am-5pm. 970221-4600, WEDNESDAYS Eat to Live, Not Live to Eat A registered dietician will help you eat healthy in the real world. Ages 18+. $20 for initial appointment; $10 follow up. Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 9am-12noon. By appt. only. 970-2216644, WEDNESDAYS THROUGH MARCH 8 Buddy Reading Trained adult volunteers are ready to play the Zirkel Reading Game designed to engage children in a fun reading experience while encouraging use of important reading strategies and skills. Ages 6-11. Loveland Public Library, children’s story time room, 300 Adams Ave., LV. 4-5pm. 970-962-2587, www.

WEDNESDAYS, FEBRUARY 22 THROUGH MARCH 29 Powerful Tools for Caregivers Acquire 35 helpful tools for caregiving to help you avoid burnout and be a better caregiver to your loved one. Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 2000 S. Lemay Ave., FC. 1-3pm. Call 970-495-8560, www. FRIDAYS, FEBRUARY 3 AND 17 FC Rides: Winter Wonderland by Bike Join Bicycle Ambassadors for guided, slow-paced and family-friendly rides around Fort Collins. All ages. Start locations TBD. 4-5:15pm. 970-416-2628,

FEBRUARY 2 Story Explorers: Guess Who Haiku Each participating family will receive a free copy of the book Guess Who Haiku by Deanna Caswell. Ages 3-5. Registration required. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 10:30-11:00am. 970-686-5603, http://clearviewlibrary. org/event/story-explorers-guesshaiku/?instance_id=149477. STEAM Makers: Flextangles! Experiment with geometry and art to create your own Flextangle toy. Ages 10+. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 4-5pm. 970-686-5603, www.

FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS, FEBRUARY 3-18 Eagle Watches Bald eagles from northern states and Canada make Fort Collins their winter home where they spend nights in communal roosts in cottonwood trees. Join City of Fort Collins Master Naturalists to learn more and view these majestic birds. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, north side of Carpenter Road/CR 32, approximately one mile west of I-25, or two miles east of Timberline, FC. 4-5:30pm. 970-4162815,

FEBRUARY 3 Learn to Sew: Basics Learn how to use a standard sewing machine and acquire the skills to create your own garments, crafts, home decor, etc. For teens and adults. Space is limited; register to guarantee a spot. Lincoln Park Library, 1012 11th St., GR. 10am. 888861-7323,

SATURDAYS THROUGH FEBRUARY Students will enjoy studio time, gallery visits, tours, career exploration, art critiquing, and networking with artists, curators and Front Range Community College faculty. $20 for 4 sessions; supplies included. Grades 9-12. Loveland Museum/Gallery, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 12noon-3pm. 970-962-2410, www.

Cardiac Research Update UCHealth’s Dr. Gary Luckasen will discuss the latest treatments and research into heart health. Ages 18+. Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 11am-12:30pm. 970-221-6644, www.

FEBRUARY 1 Food Prep Ideas Learn from a pro how to plan and prep ahead for the week so that you can have more homemade meals this year. Teens. Registration and waiver/consent required. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., Ste. 200, FC. 6:30pm. 970-2216740,

Scrabble @ Your Library Scrabble boards will be provided or you can bring your own. All ages. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., Ste. 200, FC. 10am. 970-221-6740, www.

Noches en Familia (Family Nights) A time of children’s stories, crafts, puppets, and music in Spanish, that invites fluent speakers as well as those interested in the Spanish language. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., Ste. 200, FC. 5pm. 970-221-6740, FEBRUARY 4 You’ve Got Questions. We’ve Got Answers! This class will introduce you to the library’s “Answer Cache” or electronic resources and databases. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 10am. 970-221-6740, RMPARENT

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Crafty Tales: Dinosaurs Dinosaur stories, songs and a special craft! Ages 3-6. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 10:30-11:30am. 970-6865603,

Storytime at the Museum Enjoy books, a fun craft and a yummy snack. Age 3-11. Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, 200 W. Mountain Ave., FC. 11am. 970-221-4600, www. Origami Free, but BYO supplies: 6”x6” origami paper (available in most craft stores). Ages 8+ (with kids’ grown-ups). Loveland Public Library, Erion Room, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 12:30-2pm. 970-9622401, Horse Party with Kiersi Burkhart Enjoy horse-themed crafts and celebrate the release of Kiersi Burkhart’s new series for middle grade readers. Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St., FC. 1-2:30pm. 970-484-7898, Art Adventure Enjoy an afternoon of creating with mixed media on canvas. We will start with a common theme and encourage your creativity to make your art your own. Please wear an old shirt that can get paint or glue on it! Grades K-5. Registration required. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 2pm. 888-8617323, Marvels of Virtuosity Masterworks Concert The Fort Collins Symphony performs Rouse, Bernstein and Brahms. NY Philharmonic Principal Trombonist Joe Alessi is guest artist. Adult ticket prices vary; $5 for students. Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. 6:30pm. 970-2216730, FEBRUARY 5 Lego Assemble Build Create Create a unique nameplate using LEGO bricks, and play stacking lego word games and LEGO labels. All LEGO supplies provided. Program limited to 40 LEGO builders. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., Ste. 200, FC. 2pm. 970-2216740,



Animal Afternoon Enjoy good books and the opportunity to read to friendly animals. Grades K-5. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 3pm. 970-221-6740, www.PoudreLibraries. org/events.

Credit Score Management Learn how the scoring system works and how to improve your score. Ages 18+. Foothills Activity Center, 241 E. Foothills Pkwy., FC. 6:30-7:30pm. 970-221-6644,

FEBRUARY 6 Bells and Books: A Special Storytime Celebrate top-rated picture books from the CLEL Bell awards. Will include early learning activities and musical bell fun. Ages Birth-5. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 9:30am. 970-221-6740,

Book Talk with Ibram Kendi Celebrate Black History Month with National Book Award-winning author Ibram Kendi. Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St., FC. 7pm. 970-484-7898,


Heart Healthy Benefits of Chocolate The science behind the heart and happiness benefits of chocolate by UCHealth registered dietician. Ages 18+. $5. Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 9:30-11am. 970-2216644,

FEBRUARY 8 The Loomy Knitters Group Knit items to donate to local and worldwide organizations. Ages 10+ (kids with their grown-ups). Free, but BYO supplies: 1 loom kit and 2 skeins yarn, scissors, 1 metal darning needle. (Kits are available to purchase in class for $10). Loveland Public Library, Erion Room, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 1-3pm. 970-9622401,

Bedtime Yoga Little yogis will enjoy a story, complete with calming yoga poses and breaths. PJs welcome. BYO mat (some provided). Ages 3-6 and their grownups. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 6:30pm. 970-686-5603, www. Raptors: Rehabilitation and Responsibility Learn about the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program and the raptors they save. There will be a falcon, owl and hawk onsite. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., Ste. 200, FC. 6:30pm. 970-2216740, Easy Website Design: The Basics Create an entire website online with drag and drop simplicity. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 6:30pm. 970-2216740,

FEBRUARY 9 Living Your Brilliance Interpret the truths our bodies teach. Based on the book Cellular Wisdom for Women. Ages 18+. $35; workbook included. Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 9:30-11am. 970-2216644,

Cozy Crochet: From Beginners and Beyond! Learn single, double, half-double, triple stitches and how to read a pattern. Supplies needed: “I” or “J” crochet hook, 1 skein worsted weight yarn, scissors. Loveland Public Library, Erion Room, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 1-3pm. 970962-2401, www.lovelandpubliclibrary. org/events. Little Makers: 3D Exploration Create and make using the 3D printer! Ages 5-9. Registration required. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 4-5pm. 970-686-5603, http:// Board Game Night! Learn to play some new games! Ages 8+. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 5-7:30pm. 970-686-5603, www. MakeIt: Marble Mugs Create a fantastic marble mug for your favorite hot beverages. Ages 8+. Registration required. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 6pm. 888861-7323,

FEBRUARY 10 Reading & Discussion Group: American Constitutionalism Adults. Loveland Public Library, Erion Room, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 2-3:30pm. 970-962-2401

Freaky Friday Take a trip back in time and play old video games with your friends (and some snacks!) Grades 6-12. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 3:30pm. 970-2216740, FEBRUARY 11 Research Rendezvous Open Labs National History Day participants can drop in for help you with their projects. Contact Bethany at 970-506-8621 or for individual assistance. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 10am-2pm. 888-861-7323,

Antiques Appraisal Roadshow Antique experts will appraise items, as well as provide education about the appraisal process and trends in the market. $5 per item with maximum three items per person. Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, 200 W. Mountain Ave., FC. 10am-3pm. 970-221-4600, Blogging Basics Using WordPress as a blogging platform. Please sign up for a free account at www. before attending class. Registration required. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 10am. 970-2216740,

Valentine’s Tea Party for Kids! Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a tea party! Kids will enjoy tea, a small snack and a Valentine’s-themed craft. Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St., 1:30-2:30pm, 970-484-7898, www. Tablets, Smartphones, Ebooks, Audiobooks Movies and More! Learn how to download free apps so you can read, listen to and watch library materials anytime, anywhere. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 3pm. 970-221-6740, www.PoudreLibraries. org/events.

FEBRUARY 12 Dump Old, Unsafe Car Seats Make sure your children are riding as safely as possible by dumping their old, unsafe car seats and boosters. 12noon2pm. Colorado State Patrol, 3832 I-25, FC. 12noon-2pm. 970-495-7502, www.

A Wandering Botanist in Singapore The history of Singapore, with special reference to it as a place to see tropical Asian plants. Loveland Public Library, Erion Room, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 12noon-1pm. 970-962-2401, www.

FEBRUARY 13 Escape the Library Can you escape the library? Individually or with a team, try and beat the clock by solving a series of brainteasers and puzzles. For teens and adults. Lincoln Park Library, 1012 11th St., GR. 3pm. 888-861-7323,

Anime Club Gather after school to watch anime favorites, chat about manga, and munch on yummy snacks! Grades 6-12. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., Ste. 200, FC. 4pm. 970-221-6740, www.

Cupcake Wars Compete to create the best decorated cupcakes! Each round the cupcakes will have to fit a specific theme and the judges will decide who wins. Grades 6-12. Registration required. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 4:30pm. 888-861-7323, Money Matters: Starting a Home Business Are you exploring a home business for primary or supplemental income? Learn from the experts about the opportunities, advantages, challenges and pitfalls associated with a home business. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 6:30pm. 888-861-7323, Symphony! Music Presentation and Lecture Series Brahms Symphony 1. Explore The massive serious introduction which leads into continuous gripping lines opening to a melody of resignation. Loveland Public Library, Erion Room, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 6:30-7:30pm. 970-962-2401, FEBRUARY 14 Tunnels and Tubes Fun activities with tunnels and tubes. Crawl through them, roll over them or make a maze! Ages 2-5 and their grownups. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 10:30-11am. 970-686-5603,

FEBRUARY 15 Chocolate Olympics Play games with chocolate that will test your balance, agility, speed and teamwork! Ages 9+. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 6:30-7:30pm. 970-686-5603,

Laura Pritchett at Old Town Library Author Laura Pritchett will talk about her latest book, The Blue Hour, a “romance for the rest of us.” Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 7pm. 970484-7898, FEBRUARY 16

STEAM Makers: No Sight Engineering Create the tallest tower using different mediums. Try it without sight! Ages 10+. Registration required. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 4-5pm. 970686-5603, event/steam-makers-no-sight-engineering Little Makers: Dancing Oobleck Make a batch of Oobleck slime and watch it dance to sound waves! Ages 5-9. Registration required. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 4-5pm. 970686-5603, http://clearviewlibrary. org/event/little-makers-dancingoobleck/?instance_id=154270. FEBRUARY 17 School’s Out Day Camp Pack a lunch and spend a day gardening, cooking, crafting and discovering. Ages 5-11. $45; scholarships available. Registration required. Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 8:30am-5pm. 970-416-2468,


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Stargazing with the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society Get an up-close look at the night sky over the Rockies. Telescopes provided. All ages. Devil’s Backbone Open Space, 1725 Hidden Valley Dr., LV. 7:309:30pm, 970-619-4489, naturalresources. FEBRUARY 18 Little Dance Party: Frozen Enjoy fun, action-packed music, awesome books, light refreshments and a simple craft! Groovy dance costumes encouraged. Ages 3-6. Limited to the first 25 people. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 10:30am. 888-861-7323, Tunnels and Tubes Fun activities with tunnels and tubes. Crawl through them, roll over them or make a maze! Ages 2-5 and their grownups. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 10:30-11am. 970-686-5603,

Teen Art Cafe Teens experiment with several different art tools, approaches and formats, to make visual journals. Front Range Community College, Red Cloud Peak Building, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 11am. 970-221-6740, Gears & Gizmos: A Robotics Workshop Learn how to build and program a variety of robots using LEDs, motors, sensors, buttons, more! Grades 6-12. Registration required. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 1pm. 888861-7323,

Smart Breakfast Ideas Make quick, simple, wholesome and gluten-free breakfasts. Registration and consent form required. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 1:30pm. 970-2216740, Cupcake Wars Compete to create the best decorated cupcakes! Each round the cupcakes will have to fit a specific theme and the judges will decide who wins. Grades 6-12. Registration required. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 2pm. 888-8617323,




Game Day @ Your Library Play a board or card game from the library’s collection or bring your own favorite. All ages. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 12noon. 970-2216740, FEBRUARY 21 Fun ‘n Fit A gentle and fun workout for you and your little one; brought to you by the Stroller Strides folks. Ages 1-5 and their grown-ups. Severance Town Hall, 3 Timber Ridge Pkwy., Severance. 11:15-11:45am. 970-686-5603, calendar. FEBRUARY 22 The Loomy Knitters Group Knit items to donate to local and worldwide organizations. Ages 10+ (kids with their grown-ups). Free, but BYO supplies: 1 loom kit and 2 skeins of yarn, scissors, 1 metal darning needle. (Kits are available to purchase in class for $10). Loveland Public Library, Erion Room, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 1-3pm. 970-9622401,

Cupcake Wars Compete to create the best decorated cupcakes! Each round the cupcakes will have to fit a specific theme and the judges will decide who wins. Kersey Library, 413 1st St., Kersey. 4pm. 888-861-7323, FEBRUARY 23 Cozy Crochet: From Beginners and Beyond! Learn single, double, half-double, triple stitches and how to read a pattern. Supplies needed: “I” or “J” crochet hook, 1 skein worsted weight yarn, scissors. Loveland Public Library, Erion Room, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 1-3pm. 970-962-2401, www.

STEAM Makers: 3D Exploration Create and make using the 3D printer! Ages 10+. Registration required. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 4-5pm. 970-686-5603, www.

FEBRUARY 24 Reading & Discussion Group: Government by the People Stimulating readings and discussions on Government by the People: Consent, Representation, Suffrage. Adults. Loveland Public Library, Erion Room, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 2-3:30pm. 970-9622401,

Family BINGO Night in Severance Play BINGO and win prizes with family and friends. Bring a sack dinner; snacks provided. Severance Town Hall, 3 Timber Ridge Pkwy., Severance. 6-7pm. 970686-5603 ext. 316, www.clearviewlibrary. org/calendar. Bike Winter Celebration Celebrate year-round cycling with festivities, treats, camaraderie and winners of Bike Winter Photo Contest. Wolverine Letterpress & Publick House, 316 Willow St., FC. 6-9pm. 970-416-2628, FEBRUARY 25 Girl Power: Learn to Code Using the Hour of Code, create stories, games, and animations with easy to learn drag and drop computer programming. For girls 8-16. Registration required. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 10am. 970221-6740, FEBRUARY 26 Animal Afternoon Enjoy good books and the opportunity to read to friendly animals. Grades K-5. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 3pm. 970-221-6740, www. FEBRUARY 28 Y is for Yoga Build literacy skills and healthy minds and bodies through books, songs, rhymes and yoga! Ages 3-6 and their grown-ups. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 10-10:45am. 970-686-5603, www.

Black History Month Storytelling Program Storytellers Kathy Santopietro Weddel and Wynn Montgomery will surface images to observe Black History Month with engaging tales. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 7pm. 970-221-6740,


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time out Trust your gut

You know your children better than anyone else KATIE HARRIS


fter years of consideration, our family made the leap to homeschooling earlier this school year. The decision was sudden, in a way. Other than an off-the-cuff comment here and there, we’d really never talked about the idea with family or friends. I had always been intrigued by homeschooling families who personalized lesson plans to target their children’s interests, provided almost constant oneon-one academic support, and spent homework-free nights around the dinner table as a family. I’d just been too afraid to make the leap. Our kids were happy after all; they’d never asked to leave school. Late last year, after a stressful election season for our district, my husband and I spent two late nights debating pros and cons. My fears hadn’t lessened, but we decided it was now or never. After all, the kids weren’t getting any younger, and our window to go for it was only getting smaller. After a week of daunting, gruesome, and at times maddening research and online shopping, I had complete curriculums in every subject shipped to my door, and lesson plans written up for the remainder of the year. Let me tell you, that week sucked. It was long, and I cried. Then came the kids’ last day of school, and they cried. Friends have asked me, how did you make that decision? How did you know for sure? Truthfully, I didn’t. I changed my mind, regretted our choice, but as another saying goes, nothing worth doing is ever easy, and this was no exception. The next day we got to it. There were crisp new workbooks that our inner nerds couldn’t wait to dive into. The kids each had science observation journals and the promise that we’d complete as many of our lessons 38


outdoors as possible. Personally, I was most excited about the classics I’d picked out from a thrift store to read aloud each day. I’m not one to sugarcoat things, so I tell you in all truthfulness that the experience of homeschooling, for us, has been even more wonderful than I could have imagined. For us, the risk paid off in a big way. We found our perfect fit, and it was a little outside the box. Reader, I write this to you, not to encourage you to homeschool. Despite my raving review, I promise that’s not my intention. I don’t know you. I don’t know your kids. I don’t know what your life is like, or what your schedule is like. Homeschooling’s not for everyone. My hope in sharing our experience is that, whatever internal parenting battle you might be facing, you trust your instincts. The pressures of our society on parents can be intense.

Doing things outside the box is often frowned upon, whether it’s dressing our children differently from other kids, disciplining them differently than the parenting books suggest, or pulling them out of a traditional school setting and taking their educations into our own hands. We, as parents, know our kids best, and they count on us to make those hard decisions, even when it feels like the whole world’s against us. The thing I never could have predicted was the amount of support I’ve had, from teachers and staff at my kids’ old school, to friends, to family members. The experience taught me that if you trust your gut, make your decision, and are willing to defend it, the people in your life will likely come around. In your heart, you know what’s best for your kids. Believe in yourself—you’ve got this!

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RM Parent February 2017