RM Parent Magazine | March | 2024

Page 1

Boost your kids’ self-esteem

Spring break staycations

Age-appropriate electronics

Spring on the Western Slope

Healthy limits for screen time

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6 Perspective

All we have is our time to give; Aligning thoughts, actions and speech with each other and with a commitment to compassion and gratitude







18 Four ways to boost your kids’ self-esteem

Help your kids by giving them opportunities to make decisions. Listen to what they have to say and validate their feelings. Praise them and let them know that you support them. And remember to spend uninterrupted time together to show that they matter so much to you.


RMPARENT | 5 contents
Family Health Screens
and kids, Set healthy limits
Family Fun
break staycation ideas; Bingo, Scavenger hunts and Orcas
Favorite Things
Age-appropriate electronics
with kids,
Family Travels
on the Western Slope, Explore the Grand Junction area
Community news PSD listening sessions, child care assistance freeze, Zoo expansion, and movie cars
Calendar Events and activities for parents, kids and families
Time out Is social media real life? DEPARTMENTS SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS 22 Greeley - District 6 Greeley West Robotics Team competes in international event 24 Poudre PSD to expand student apprenticeship opportunities
Thompson Isis Garcia, 2nd grade teacher at Truscott Elementary MARCH 2024• RMPARENT.COM CAMP GUIDE SPECIAL SECTION
activities and enrichment opportunities for your kids and family.
All we have is our time to give

Aligning thoughts, actions and speech with each other and with a commitment to compassion and gratitude

WORDS MATTER. WHAT WE SAY and how we say it can have a profound effect on people. Words make us laugh and cry and take action. Words express love and hate and indifference, which sometimes is even worse than hate. Yet knowing the compelling power of our speech on others, we often spew out words thoughtlessly in reaction to something someone else says or does. Many times we act out toward someone when it’s really something else that is bothering us.

We might look at our children and think that they are the most precious parts of our lives. We would jump in front of a truck to save them, and yet our actions and our words don’t align with our thoughts. Our thoughts may be that I want the best for you that I can help provide, whether that’s help with school, advice on friendship, medical care, whatever it is, but our words say, “quit bugging me and go play in your room.”

So how do we align our actions and words with our thoughts? And one step further, even, how do we align them all with a commitment to compassion and gratitude? It’s complicated and difficult, right? We’re all running 100 miles an hour just trying to get everyone where they need to be when they need to be there and get dinner on the table and keep a roof over our heads. Plus, we have to take care of ourselves, too, if we’re going to be of any use to others. So what’s the answer?

I really don’t know, but I’m willing to throw out an idea or two. First, I think, is just to take a moment to think about how powerful your words are and to make some level of commitment to yourself to make your words align with your deeper thoughts about people in your life, beyond that annoying thing that they might be doing at the moment like dumping spaghetti noodles onto their chairs. And of course, then we want to align our actions with that too. I’m not saying we should bury our frustration but maybe we can take a deep breath before we go off, and maybe respond differently.

We have an issue of great stories this month, many of which fit this theme. Lynn Nichols writes about boosting kids’ self-esteem, which in addition to listening to them includes offering words of support and praise and spending uninterrupted time together. Theresa Baer offers three fun ways to spend time together on a staycation. No action says that I value and appreciate you like hanging out together. Lea Hanson digs in on the downside of too much screen time and offers realistic tips.

Katie Harris offers up another road trip, this time to Grand Junction. Nothing says let’s spend time together like a road trip. She does a little selfexamination about what’s real and what’s maybe a little push on her social media accounts in her Time Out musings. Plus our usual great calendar compiled by Theresa, gives you lots of options to get out with the fam.

Thank you, mean it,

MARCH 2024 • Volume 27, Issue 10


Scott Titterington, (970)221-9210 scott.rmpublishing@gmail.com EDITOR

Kristin Titterington, (970)221-9210 kristin.rmpublishing@gmail.com


Emily Zaynard emily.rmpublishing@gmail.com


Greg Hoffman, (970)689-6832 greg.rmpublishing@gmail.com


Susan Harting susan.rmpublishing@gmail.com


istock photo


Theresa Baer, Lea Hanson

Katie Harris, Lynn U. Nichols


PO Box 740

Fort Collins, CO 80522 Voice 221-9210 • Fax 221-8556 editor@rockymountainpub.com


Rocky Mountain Parent magazine is published monthly by Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. Publication of this paper does not constitute 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. ©2024 Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without express written permission is prohibited.


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Screens and kids—Set healthy limits

DURING SCHOOL BREAKS AND holidays, children tend to increase their recreational screen time. As parents, we tend to worry, but do we need to? Most researchers say, “yes… but it’s complicated.”

How often should parents talk to kids about screen use?

Natural transition times, such as holidays and summer breaks, are good times to set expectations about screen use. Parents can create a schedule for that temporary period, and it can include solo use but also ways to connect and interact such as playing online games together as a family or making video calls to relatives who live far away.

On one hand, the more time teens spend on social media, the less connected they feel to others. On the other hand, many teens find that online is where their friends are. So, it’s tricky.

Too much screen time can be linked to:

• A sedentary lifestyle

More time spent on electronic devices means less time being active. Kids (and adults) need to move. Physical activity contributes to improved cardiovascular fitness, stronger bones and muscles, improved balance, skills development and improved concentration.

• Irregular sleep

The more time spent watching on a screen, the more likely children are to have trouble falling asleep or have an irregular sleep schedule. Sleep loss can lead to fatigue and increased snacking.

• Behavioral problems

Elementary students who spend more than two hours a day watching TV, playing video games or using a computer or smartphone are more likely to have emotional, social and attention problems. Also, exposure to video games is linked with an increased possibility of attention problems in children.

• Impaired academic performance

Elementary students who have TVs or other screens in their bedrooms tend to perform worse on tests than do those who don’t have these in their bedrooms.

• Less time for play

Excessive screen time leaves less time for active, creative play.

What should the limit be?

Tips for reducing screentime

• Be accountable

Many devices have features to set time limits for use.

• Be realistic

If your kids spend a lot of leisure time on screens, including watching TV, start by setting smaller, more attainable goals.

• Be engaged

After school or work, give them your full attention.

• Create phone-free zones in the home

Making family meal areas a phone-free zone is an easy way to start.

• Go outside

Put down the phone and take a walk or play outdoors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics used to recommend less than two hours for ages 5 and up. Now they are moving away from giving specific hours, because the reality is that most kids spend far more than two hours a day on screens, and not all screen time is equal. Now they recommend creating a plan based on what makes sense for your family given your kids’ screen habits and your family’s situation.

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Spring break staycation ideas

WE HAVE HIGHLIGHTED a few ideas for close-to-home spring break fun.

Fort Collins Bikeway Bingo or scavenger hunts

Fort Collins is widely known for supporting active, healthy transportation choices, especially biking!

You can get your family rolling out this spring for some fresh air and exercise with the City’s Bikeway Bingo Challenge from FC Bikes. There are five challenges developed to help residents and visitors explore and learn about Fort Collins’ family-friendly bikeways, parks, natural areas, animals and public art. View and print the various bingo cards from www.fcgov. com/bicycling/fort-collins-bike-network.

The Safe Routes to School program has also developed three familyfriendly scavenger hunts that can be done by bike or walking. If you answer the questions on each hunt and email them to scavengerhunt@fcgov. com, you’ll to be entered into drawings for some fun prizes! View and print the hunts at www.fcgov.com/ saferoutes/scavengerhunts.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

You’ll have to venture outside of NoCo for this one, but the Denver Museum of Nature and Science promises to “Unleash the magic of the sea” with their new exhibit “Orcas: Our Shared Future” which opens on March 15 with public tickets available March 8.

You could discover orcas’ stunning intelligence and complex social structures; meet a life-sized replica of an orca family; hear stories highlighting their deep connection with humans; reflect on the consequences of captivity and much more.

In addition, you can explore all the museum has to offer… from dinosaurs and other animals to gems to the human body and discover the history of various cultures. Visit www.dmns.org to learn more and buy tickets in advance.

Geocaching or scavenger hunts

Geocaching can lead you to amazing locations, oftentimes in local places you may not know existed. Participants use free cell phone apps or GPS devices to locate containers called “geocaches” or “caches” at locations marked by longitude/latitude coordinates. These hidden caches can range from tiny canisters to large plastic containers and are often concealed in logs, rocks, birdhouses etc. Create a free account at Geocaching.com to see what’s available near you. Using the app and any clues provided, seek

and find the cache, sign/date the logbook and exchange a trinket if you desire, then place the cache back exactly where you found it.

Another option where GPS units are provided is an “Egg-Stra Special GPS Hunt” on March 16 from the City of Loveland Recreation. Learn more and register at www. lovgov.org/prevents.

For simpler non-tech adventures, search online for free printable scavenger hunt clues to hide around your home or yard. Both options develop critical thinking skills and offer adventure, exploration and discovery.

Family Fun
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LEA HANSON Favorite Things

Age-appropriate electronics

As technology advances at a rapid pace, there are conversations and debates regarding when to get kids their first phone. And, especially with younger kids (grade-school aged), the debate is not only rooted in their preferences and wishes to get their own device but also to keep them safe.

Most online resources point to the early middleschool age—around sixth grade—as a typically accepted age to start discussions about kids having their own phone. However, lots of kids start experiencing levels of independence a year or so before that: going to friends’ houses, walking short distances home from school, and more. Younger kids may not have the same range of travel as teenagers, but they still can wander off, whether it’s following a pet or running off with friends. Being able to track them allows you to intervene before they end up somewhere they shouldn’t be. This is why devices that allow for tracking and some basic levels of communication with trusted adults are a good gateway to both meeting adults’ needs as well as the kids’ desires.

Jiobit Smart Tag

Cost: $130 for device, $1020/month for subscription

This device is made solely for tracking and can be securely attached to child’s backpack or jacket. A variety of secure attachment options are available. The tracker allows for real-time tracking, and geo-fencing (with alerts), and offers an SOS Emergency button that calls 911. It stores a comprehensive location history for up to 30 days. The tracker can be set up so multiple caregivers can use their respective phones to track a child’s location. The battery life lasts from 7-10 days depending on usage.

Garmin Bounce

Cost: $140 for device, $10/month for subscription

LTE connectivity that can easily be used with both iOS and Android Devices. While the Bounce doesn’t offer cellular calling, it does allow parents, the wearer, and up to 20 pre-approved contacts to communicate using text messages and voice messages. Kids can also virtually check in with a parent and provide their location or use the Assistance feature to summon help in an emergency. As a fitness tracker, it can track walks, runs, and bike activities. The watch also offers step challenges and a few basic games, like Tic-Tac-Toe. It’s simplicity and more limited functionality, combined with plenty of animated graphics on the display, make it suitable for younger kids.

AngelSense Personal GPS Tracker for Kids

Cost: $60 for device, up to $50/month for subscription

– free service for first month

This device uniquely auto-Learns daily routine for alerts when potentially dangerous situations occur: Early Departure, Unexpected Places, Late Arrival, Late Departure, and more. This can be easily used with iOS, Android, or PC. It auto-detects & names places, is fully customizable, and can add multiple guardians & set permissions.

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Spring on the Western Slope

OUTDOORSY TYPES, THIS ONE’S FOR YOU! This month, discover breathtaking canyons, marvel at curious sandstone rock formations, and glimpse rarely-seen wildlife. Think we’re sending you to neighboring Utah or Arizona? Think again. Known for its variety of unique geological landscapes, the Grand Junction area is teeming with opportunities to explore the outdoors, all just a short five-hour drive from Northern Colorado. Whether the forecast calls for hiking boots or snowshoes, this destination is ready to accommodate, making it the perfect place to check out during Colorado’s most unpredictable month.

On day one, head for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to begin your adventure. Located an hour southeast of Grand Junction, the canyon boasts depths of over 2000 feet at its deepest, with widths as small as 40 feet in the narrows area. The 48-mile long canyon is the perfect spot to get out and explore along the rim, taking in the sheer, shadowed cliff sides, and is popular with snowshoers and backcountry skiers as well as hikers. www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm

Next, head into Grand Junction and explore the downtown district where historic buildings, a vibrant art scene, and delectable dining options await you. Check into your hotel which will be your home base for the next couple days. https://downtowngj.org/

Day 2:

Make your way to Colorado National Monument, a mustsee on any western slope itinerary.

Located 30 minutes west of downtown Grand Junction, the park will captivate you with its red rock canyons and sandstone cliffs. Consider embarking on an hour-long scenic drive along Rim Rock Road, keeping an eye out for big horn sheep, or opt to hike along one of the many short trails in the area. https:// www.nps.gov/colm/index.htm

Later, head back into town and make your way to the Grand Junction Motor Speedway, a .9 mile, 11 turn, world-class race track suitable for all ages. Guests 4’8” or taller can get behind the wheel themselves, while smaller kids can ride along in a two-seater. https:// grandjunctionmotorspeedway.com/

Day 1:

Day 3:

Take a peek into the history of the wild west at the Museum of the West this morning. Here, guests can peruse real firearms used by outlaws, ride in a stagecoach, visit a saloon, and more. https://www. museumofwesternco.com/museum-of-the-west/ Afterwards, as you begin your journey back home, detour to the 63-mile Grand Mesa Scenic Byway. Traversing the largest flat-top mountain in the world, the byway is a great option for exploring all the area has to offer, with plenty of opportunities to stop and stretch your legs along the way. Grand Mesa is home to a thick forest of pines and aspen trees, multiple lakes, and scores of wildlife including moose and elk. The area is a great place for hiking, backcountry skiing, and even ice fishing, so whatever your preferred mode of exploration, you can partake in it here.https://grandmesabyway.com/

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Four ways to boost your kids’ self-esteem

Let them know that you love, value and enjoy them

WE ALL WANT OUR KIDS TO find success and feel like they can handle whatever comes their way. To make this happen, kids need to have good self-esteem. Here are simple ways you can help boost your kids’ self-esteem throughout the day.


When life is busy, it’s easier to start dictating the daily schedule to your kids instead of involving them in little decisions that affect their lives throughout the day. Including your kids in daily decisions helps build self-esteem. It also helps motivate kids to make healthy choices.

“Kids often feel like so many choices are made for them throughout their days. By giving them choices and letting them lead, you help them feel empowered and help them learn life skills,” says Kristy Coventry, MA, LPCC, a northern Colorado licensed counselor with Sunbound Therapy.

Even young kids can help make simple choices or lead in a simple activity, like making snacks or deciding what to wear. Including your kids at meal time to help prepare, serve, and clean up the meal not only teaches them to pitch in as a team, it also helps them feel like an

important member of the family. The best part is that it carves out time for you to talk and connect as a family.

“If I was told what to do all day I would be frustrated too, so finding ways to show your kids that their input is valuable and that they are able to make decisions and lead is powerful,” Coventry adds.

When you welcome your kids to actively participate in making family decisions and decisions that affect their own lives you are sending a message that what they say matters. It makes them feel respected and valued, and when kids feel valued they develop a strong sense of self-worth. This doesn’t mean you should give your kids the reigns to make the rules, but decisions on activities,


chores, solving friendship or family challenges – and depending on age –how to carry out a consequence, can be shared.


When kids feel heard they have better self-esteem. Take opportunities to stop what you are doing and really listen to your kids with good eye contact. It’s a simple yet powerful thing. Ask openended questions about what they are saying and if you want to give advice or pass judgment, bite your tongue unless safety it is a concern. Engage, laugh, and encourage.

If your child needs help working out what they are feeling, it’s okay to offer suggestions, such as, ‘You look angry [upset, frustrated, sad] right now. Is that what you are feeling?’

Helping your kids identify their feelings and understand that it’s okay to feel the way they do teaches them to self-regulate.

When frustration or anger turns into acting out, be careful not to shame or quickly jump to a consequence. Instead, be in the moment with them.

“Validating feelings can drastically improve behaviors. It is easier in the moment to say, ‘No, stop that,’ but that starts a power struggle. Where saying, ‘I know you are feeling frustrated. That’s valid, but I am not for kicking or throwing,’ lets them know you understand,” Coventry says. It also teaches them boundaries around unacceptable behavior.


A great way of raising your kids’ selfesteem is offering sincere words of support and praise throughout the day at times you really feel it. Language is important. Send messages through words and actions that say ‘I believe in you. I am lucky to have you in my

life. You in the world is a good thing.’ Kids who struggle in other areas of their lives, like friendship or school, especially need to hear words of support and praise to counterbalance negative messages they might hear elsewhere.

Take kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatrist William Dodson, MD, estimates that by age 12 children with ADHD receive 20,000 more negative messages from teachers, parents, coaches, and other adults than their peers.

When giving words of support or praise, be specific. For example, if your child is struggling with math homework, instead of saying, ‘You’re doing great!’ you can say, ‘I get that you are frustrated, but I see that you are sticking to it. Good job.’ This not only feels true and sincere, it lets them know that there are many ways to succeed, not just easily acing the homework.

“Give small messages, like: ‘I know you can do this even though it’s hard.’ Or ‘I am with you in these hard feelings,’” Coventry says.

Doing so says that you acknowledge the struggle and that you support your child – and not stepping in to take over sends the message that you believe they can do it. When they do solve problems on their own, they build self-esteem.


In our crazy world where media is constantly demanding our attention, it is important to set everything down and come together as a family. Consider building in a no screen time into each day. For example, ban screens from bedtime so that it’s a relaxing time where you snuggle, talk, read, and daydream together.

“It helps to have consistency in your schedule, so that your kids know what to expect. It’s a tool that helps families connect and bond,” Coventry concludes.

When you invite your kids to be the center of your world, even for stolen minutes at different times each day, you send the message that you love, value, and enjoy them – true selfesteem boosters.




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School District News: Greeley-Evans D6

Greeley West Robotics Team competes in international event

Of course, competing in an international robotics event in Calgary, Canada was very cool. But for Greeley West High School Junior Holden Kleinman, the experience was so much more.

“This is the first time I have ever traveled outside the United States,” Holden says. “No one in my family, except my dad, has ever traveled outside the United States. It was cool experiencing new things and

seeing everything they have there that is different.”

Building relationships, meeting new people, experiencing a new culture, eating new foods including ketchup potato chips were all part of the journey to Canada for the Greeley West VEX Robotics Team, who competed in the Mecha Mayhem VRC Signature Event Feb. 2-4.

The Greeley West team includes Holden, senior Caleb Lam, senior Logan

Reynolds and senior Brenna Truitt. They competed with 132 teams from around the world, and while they didn’t do as well in the competition as they hoped, they walked away with the Sportsmanship Award.

The award, Caleb says, was for showing respect, working well with other teams and, well, for being nice. The Greeley West team gave out small cows, a symbol of their hometown

of Greeley and helped fellow competitors when they could.

The competition involved a robot the team built competing in a game where the machine had to make goals in a small “arena.” Team members were paired with another team and had to work together to score the most points.

“It was a blast traveling with them and watching them grow as a team,” says science teacher and robotics coach Tristen Vangilder.

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PSD to expand student apprenticeship opportunities

Between classes at Colorado State University, Nic Schountz can be found changing oil or resealing a rear differential on a bus in the Poudre School District Transportation Department.

Schountz started work as a student apprentice in PSD through CareerWise Colorado last year, when he was a senior at Rocky Mountain High School. Working as an apprentice has allowed him to learn new skills, earn money, and explore his options after graduation, all while doing what he loves to do every day.

“It’s been a phenomenal time,” Schountz says

about his experience as a student apprentice in PSD. “I’ve met some really cool people and I’ve learned an insane amount of things. It’s giving me options because I don’t know for sure exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

He will complete his second year with the PSD Transportation Department this summer and receive a certificate of completion from the Colorado Department of Labor. He hopes to stay with PSD in a full-time position at least until he finishes college.

“They allow you to go to school as well as work and don’t expect you to

have the experience but still give you the possibility of bettering yourself,” Schountz says. “I know several people who have really wished that they had done what I have done.”

PSD will soon expand its youth apprenticeship offerings from 12 positions to 20 thanks to a nearly half-million-dollar Response, Innovation, and Student Equity (RISE) Education Grant award. The eight new apprenticeships will be in the district’s Transportation, Facility Services, and Information Technology departments.

PSD Chief Technology Officer Bud Hunt says the

IT team is excited to have the opportunity to support more students working and introduce them to the world of IT careers.

“While we regularly hire students to help us do work over the summer, this grant gives us the opportunity to invite more students into our work year-round, and to expand the opportunities we can make available,” says Hunt. “Making space for students to discover and chase their passions while doing real work that serves the Poudre School District community is a win-win for all. Our team is eager to get started!”

The $475,999 RISE grant will help fund equipment purchases and development and implementation of four IT positions, two automotive tech apprenticeships, and two facility tech and maintenance crew apprenticeships for students.

PSD was one of six RISE grant recipients announced in November 2023. The RISE Grant program launched in 2020; awards made in this fourth grant cycle focused on youthbased apprenticeship opportunities for high school students. Gov. Jared Polis allocated nearly $2 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief dollars to fund this grant cycle.

24 | RMPARENT School District News: Poudre
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Isis Garcia – 2nd grade teacher at Truscott Elementary


in Chihuahua, Mexico, Isis Garcia dreamed of being a teacher and having her own classroom of students. She never imagined that classroom would be in the United States and that she would be part of a Dual Language program, teaching children who—like she once did—are learning how to communicate in two languages.

“I was a secondlanguage student here (in the U.S.) myself,” Isis says. “It was very difficult. It requires a lot of effort.”

Isis worked hard at learning to speak English, and spent time as a volunteer in schools, where she quickly realized there was a need to help students who did not speak English. She originally planned to be a classroom teacher

and use her skill of being bilingual to help students. But after learning about TSD’s Dual Language Immersion program, she knew that would be a perfect fit for her abilities.

DLI, which is offered at four TSD schools, provides a learning environment that is 50-50 in English and Spanish. Students in the program learn standards-based content

in both languages. Isis has been teaching in TSD for five years, and she says working at Truscott Elementary has been a dream come true for her.

“Since the first day I stepped into Truscott, I felt welcomed and I knew I wanted to work here. I’ve never seen a school with such strong teacher teamwork as it is here,” she says. “It feels like a big family, and I’m very thankful to be here.”

Isis says another benefit to students in the DLI program is gaining an appreciation for other cultures.

“Knowing more than one language opens opportunities for everything – more communication skills, better learning. If I could learn three or four more languages, I would,” Isis says. “These kids will be bilingual and biliterate and will be more helpful when they go out into the world.”

And for students, Isis believes having a safe place to learn these other languages benefits not just their language skills, but their overall health.

“That’s something I notice, their self-esteem. They don’t spend all day feeling like they can’t keep up,” she says. “When I see these kids out in the community and know their abilities, I know we are making good citizens.”

26 | RMPARENT School District News: Thompson
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Listening sessions, child care freeze, Zoo expansion, and movie cars


Members of the public, adults and students alike, are able to provide feedback on the scenarios the Poudre School District (PSD)

Facilities Planning Steering Committee is developing for PSD. Choose from the following dates of listening sessions and/or learn more at www.psdschools.org/ community/long-rangeplanning-engagement.

• Monday, March 18, 11:30am–1:30pm, PSD Information Technology Center at Johannsen Support Services Complex, 2407 Laporte Ave., FC

• Monday, March 18, 6–8pm, Rocky Mountain High School, 1300 W. Swallow Rd., FC

• Tuesday, March 19, 4:30–6:30pm, Lincoln Middle School,

1600 W. Lancer Dr., FC

• Wednesday, March 20, 7:30–8:30am

Timnath MiddleHigh School, 4700 E. Prospect Rd., Timnath

• Wednesday, March 20, 6–8pm

Fort Collins High School, 3400 Lambkin Way, FC

• Thursday, April 4, 6–8pm, Future Ready Center, Suite 510 in the Foothills Mall, 215 E Foothills Parkway, FC (for Spanish and Arabicspeaking participants)


The Larimer County Department of Human Services has placed an enrollment freeze for its Colorado Child Care Assistance Program or CCAP due to budget

constraints. Current CCAP families will remain on the program, provided they continue to meet eligibility criteria and prospective families can still apply though complete reviews will not occur until the freeze is lifted. According to the website, “Exceptions are made for families in child welfare or the Colorado Works program, ensuring their eligibility determination and potential inclusion in the program if qualified.” Learn more at www.larimer. gov/humanservices/publicbenefits/ccap.


The Denver Zoo is extending its wildlife conservation efforts to the 570-acre Lembke Family Preserve in Weld County, however it won’t be open

to the public. Phase one will expand the Zoo’s breeding efforts to support their Species Survival Plans, provide more space for growing animal families and potentially add new species. The additional acreage will also provide greater capacity for temporary animal holding when habitat maintenance or renovations are underway. In phase two, the Zoo intends to focus on conservation breeding and wild reintroduction of threatened or endangered species. To protect the animals within the Preserve, the exact location is not being released.


Colorado’s first movie car museum, Rodz and Bodz, is moving from Lakewood to an anchor space in the Greeley Mall that is triple the space of their old location. There, over 100 movie-car originals and replicas will be showcased, along with vintage cars, one-of-a-kind customs, hot rods and unique movie memorabilia to be enjoyed by all ages. Look for celebrity visits and opportunities to rent cars for special occasions. Their grand re-opening is set to take place Saturday, March 16 with giveaways and prizes distributed throughout the day.

Community News
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Community Calendar

March events



Children’s Day

Enjoy fun games, demos, interactive booths. All ages. Chilson Recreation Center, LV. www.lovgov.org/prevents.


Greeley’s Blarney on the Block Parade & Party in Downtown Parade and various musical bands. Downtown GR. www. downtowngreeley.com/specialevents/first-national-bankblarney-on-the-block-parade


Evans Resource Fair

Meet organizations that provide resources for housing, education, employment and internet. Riverside Library and Cultural Center, GR. highplains. libcal.com/event/12005535


Online Safety for Families

Learn internet safety practices and tips for discussing it with children. Farr Regional Library, GR. highplains.libcal.com/ event/12012326


Northern Colorado Children’s Festival

Family activities, crafts, health and safety information, entertainment, more. Island Grove Regional Park, GR. www.unitedway-weld.org/ event/northern-coloradochildrens-festival

Timber Dan Toy Show

Show and sale of collectible, vintage and antique toys. The Ranch, LV. www. treventscomplex.com

Fort Collins Parks & Rec Hiring Fair

Learn about opportunities in lifeguarding, childcare, groundskeeping, park maintenance and more. Edora Pool & Ice Center, FC. www.fcgov.com/events



Crazy For You®

A zany rich-boy-meetshometown-girl romantic comedy. Candlelight Dinner Theatre, Johnstown. coloradocandlelight.com


Collections: Unexpected Treasures Exhibition/examination of unusual collections and motivation behind. Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, FC. globalvillagemuseum.org


Inspiring Women of Northern Colorado Exhibit Showcases 48 women who’ve made a difference in the community by demonstrating commitment, courage and resilience. Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, FC. globalvillagemuseum.org


Dino-Light by Lightwire Theater In a magical glow-in-thedark experience, a friendly dinosaur is brought to life. Rialto Theater, LV. Rialtotheatercenter.org


Omnium Circus

World renowned, this fully inclusive circus celebrates disability and diversity. Lincoln Center Performance Hall, FC. www.lctix.com


Connection to the Land Exhibit Spirituality, cultural identity, family and a sense of place can all be tied to the land. Loveland Museum, LV. www.thelovelandmuseum. org/exhibits



Northern Colorado Astronomical Society volunteers provide telescopes and share knowledge of stars, planets, galaxies, etc. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, FC. www.fcgov.com/events



Harlem Globetrotter

2024 World Tour

Enjoy mind-blowing trick shots, expert ball-handling skills and big laughs. Blue Arena, LV. www.treventscomplex.com


Stars of Tomorrow Show

Professionally judged talent show for Weld County youth, grades 1-12. Presented by Kiwanis Club of Greeley. Monfort Concert Hall, GR. ucstars.showare.com


OpenStage Theatre & Company

Presents| Big Fish

Based on Daniel Wallace’s novel and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, this tells the story of a traveling salesman who lives life to the fullest and fantastical! Lincoln Center Magnolia Theater, FC. www.lctix.com



Glow Swim Party

Where the lights are low and the party is bright! Chilson Recreation Center, LV. LovGov.org/Chilson


Sharin’ O’ the Green 5K Run/Walk

All ages. Washington Park to Odell Brewing, FC. runsignup.com/ Race/CO/FortCollins/ SharinOtheGreen5k

Lucky Brew Race

5K - 10K - 15K - Kids Fun Run along Poudre River Trail. Eastman Park, Windsor. www.runwindsorco.com

Winter Walk: Critters in the Cold Where do wildlife hide from the cold and snow? Coyote Ridge Natural Area, FC. www.fcgov.com/events

Additional programs available through local recreation departments:

Estes Park: https://evrpd. colorado.gov/recreation

Fort Collins: www.fcgov.com/ recreation

Greeley: https://greeleyrec. com

Loveland: www.LovGov.org/ ActivityGuide

Windsor: www. recreationliveshere.com/160/ Activity-Guide



Egg-Stra Special Spring GPS Hunt

Egg hunt adventure using GPS units to solve clues/find eggs. North Lake Park, LV. www.LovGov.org/PRevents


Easter Bunny Photos

Bring your own camera. Barnes & Noble, LV. www. thepromenadeshopsatcenterra.com/events


Easter Egg Hunt at Scheels

Stop in for an Easter Egg Hunt sheet to find hidden eggs around the store and win a gift card! Scheels, Johnstown. www.facebook.com/events/842247281038441


Easter Eggstravaganza

Egg dash for 2–12 year olds, scavenger hunt down the trail, photos with the Easter Bunny and activities.. Riverside Park, Evans www.facebook.com/events/678127667733412

Greeley Free Community Easter Egg Hunts

Ages 6 months–17 years. Rodarte Community Center and Family FunPlex, GR. https://greeleyrec.com/events

Wellington Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Children 9 years and younger of all abilities–bring your baskets! Easter Bunny, coffee/food trucks. Wellington Community Park, Wellington. www.wellingtoncolorado.gov


Morning Fresh Dairy Egg-Stravaganza Tours

Tours, scavenger hunt, yard games, goodie samples, prizes. Morning Fresh Dairy, Bellvue. www.morningfreshdairy.com/ tours-and-events/holiday-tours/eggstravaganza.html


Meet the Easter Bunny

Bring your own camera for photos. Scheels, Johnstown. www.facebook.com/events/734435051742848


Time out Is social media real life?

My sophomore has been working on a school project this week concerning the effects of social media on our society. Unsurprisingly, her research turned up overwhelming evidence that social media negatively impacts our mental health due to our tendencies to curate the content we post, in other words, only sharing things that fit the image we are hoping to exude.

This got me wondering, ‘Am I guilty of this?’ And the answer is a resounding, yes.

While it’s certainly been tempting at times to take to Facebook or X to voice grievances and seek solidarity or at least a bit of sympathy, that’s never been my preferred use of the platforms. Instead, social media is a place to share my triumphs and those of my family, post cute pictures of my kids looking far more angelic than reality ever allows, and crack a (hopefully) funny quip now and then about some endearing thing my husband did and how it drove me (slightly) crazy in its utter adorableness.

As a stay-at-home, homeschool mom and a writer and blogger, the image I hope to exude at all times is that of a master multitasker, greeting each new day with the patience of a saint, boundless energy,

unmatched creativity, and oodles of adoration for the four little humans I call mine.

Overall I’m pretty decent at all that. As decent as say, a pediatrician who once told her kid to brush it off when x-rays three days later proved that arm was, in fact, good and broken.

As decent as a police officer who speeds a little.

As decent as a mail delivery person who gets it so right, except that one time each month when, like clockwork, your next door neighbor’s health insurance bill shows up in your box.

In truth, yes, nine out of 10 times I have my life well enough together to whip out a pre-planned activity for my youngest two while I cover an English lesson

with my high schoolers. But the other time, the time you don’t see on social media or in a blog post or if you’re invited over to our house, those two boys are climbing me like a couple of monkeys, screaming in both my ears as I fight them off with a plastic ruler.

Nine out of 10 hours on a roadtrip I’m spouting off fun facts about our destination, pressing play on an educational podcast, or devising travel games on the fly. But that other hour, the one where I just want to close my eyes and tune them all out for a while, the kids are deep into their tablets playing God only knows what.

Nine out of 10 nights I find my husband’s quirks adorable, but by night 10

I’m ready to throw those socks on the floor right out the window and give him a not-so-gentle shove to quiet the snores.

And that profile pic on Facebook, the one where everyone’s hair is brushed, clothes are ironed and faces are smiling, that picture took 42 takes to capture.

None of us, and I mean none of us, get it right all the time. Life is messy, rushed, exhausting, frustrating, and completely perfect in its imperfection no matter what stage of life you’re in, no matter what you do for a living, no matter who you are. And social media? It’s merely a beautiful montage of our finest moments and should never be mistaken for anything more.

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