RM Parent Magazine | April | 2024

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Signs of child abuse

SPECIALSECTION: Youth Program & Activity Guide APRIL 2024 • RMPARENT.COM
nutrients for kids
birthday gifts
Alternative sports options
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18 Signs of child abuse

No parent wants to think their child would suffer child abuse. Unfortunately it does happen. Watch for signs of abuse. Seek help if you suspect abuse and set rules to keep your child safe.

RMPARENT | 5 contents
Perspective Our spectacular journeys
Family Health Overlooked nutrients for kids
Family Fun Alternative sports options, Try tennis, martial arts and dance
Favorite Things Happy Birthday! Age-appropriate birthday gifts
Family Travels Vegas or Bust, Endless entertainment for the whole family
Community news Earth Day Youth art and writing contests, Loveland childcare, Greeley rebates, community mural
Calendar Events and activities for parents, kids and families
Time out Teenage travels DEPARTMENTS SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS 22 Greeley - District 6 District 6 awarded grant to create command center 24 Poudre Learning to read: What PSD’s new literacy curriculum looks like in elementary classrooms 26 Thompson TSD Spotlight – Jacob Findley – Loveland High School Senior Program & Activity Guide YOuth ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT
SECTION Browse activities and enrichment opportunities for your kids and family.

Our spectacular journeys

How we go, not where we go, matters most

I HAVE COME TO REALLY like the stories that Katie Harris writes every month about a different family road trip. I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical when she first proposed the idea. I mean, how many family road trips could there be and wouldn’t it get redundant. Well, I was wrong. We live in this great place where we don’t have to fly or drive 20 hours to get to world-class places.

I’m not even sure though that where we go matters as much as how we go. Something about planning a trip together and then all piling in the car and heading out on the road is different than getting on plane or staying home. Maybe it’s the time together away from all our busy stuff. Maybe it’s exploring a new place. Maybe it’s those evening games that we could never pull off at home or an evening around a campfire making memories and telling stories.

Even if you never follow one of Katie’s road-trip plans, I like that they are still there for the inspiration to get out of town and explore. Katie’s ideas are only a finger pointing the way, just as a map of the Poudre Canyon is not the experience of the canyon with its rushing river and mountain peaks. You have to go yourself and have your own experience.

We had many family road trips over the years. My favorite was one repeated several times at spring break. We would pack the minivan (I loved that car!) the night before so that we could leave at 4am. Breakfast in Santa Fe and then on across New Mexico and into Arizona. We would find a cheap hotel in Tucson or Nogales. The next morning, we would head across the border and down to San Carlos on the coast south of Hermosillo. It was always a grand adventure, and the children became adventurers themselves.

I have a print of a painting hanging above my desk—An American Coyote in Paris No. 58. In the center is a stylized cartoon coyote dressed in in a suit and hat sitting in a rowboat. The Eiffel Tower is in the background.

Words written across the top say: That many had ventured farther and done so in finer style bothered me not. My journey was my own and I found it to be quite spectacular.

So let’s take Katie’s work as both guidebook and inspiration and create our own journeys that I’m sure we will find to be quite spectacular.

Bon voyage,

APRIL 2024 • Volume 27, Issue 11


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


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


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

Rocky Mountain Parent magazine is published monthly by Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. Publication of this paper does not 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. OUR

RMPARENT | 7 970-635-4353 • 126 E. 29 th St. (next to Loveland DMV) • www.neo-smiles.com/loveland • Gentle Kids Dentistry • No-Extraction Orthodontics • Emergency Appointments Available We treat beyond the teeth! Call and ask about our NEW PATIENT SPECIAL!

Overlooked Nutrients for Kids

ANY PARENT OR CAREGIVER KNOWS that nutritious foods are important for their littles, but many of us don’t realize all the complexities of why that is. Poor diets in early childhood can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and nutrients – such as vitamin A deficiency, which weakens children’s immunity, increases their risk of blindness and can lead to death from common childhood diseases.

Kids’ bodies are also growing and establishing themselves for the first time and in a way that will set the tone for their lifetimes. Growing teeth and bone growth is especially important during childhood years and sets the stage for each person’s health down the road. Growth failure and micronutrient inadequacy during childhood and adolescence can delay growth and create high risk of chronic diseases in adulthood.

Some adults will be surprised to learn there are common nutrition deficiencies in kids. Not surprisingly, however, is that these vitamins seem to correlate with some of the foods picky eaters tend to refuse.


A shocking 41.7 percent of children worldwide have iron deficiency. In lower-income areas, this can be attributed to a lack of access to highquality proteins. However, it is also an issue in higher-income households due to picky eating. Picky eaters often turn down protein and leafy greens – two of iron’s top sources.


• 7-12 months: 11 mg

• 1-3 years: 7 mg


So many kids (and adults!) don’t get enough fiber. Specifically, only five percent of Americans consume the recommended daily allowance of fiber. Fiber helps the body balance blood sugars, keeps kids fuller for longer, promotes regular bowel movements, and helps prevent high cholesterol. Signs of fiber deficiency include constipation, stomach pain, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, and fatigue.

Iron helps the body move oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Because of this, it is essential for a child’s growth and development. Signs of iron deficiency include pale skin, fatigue, cold hands, and feet, slowed growth and development, abnormally rapid breathing, frequent infections, poor appetite, and unusual cravings for nonfood substances like ice/dirt/paint.

[Vitamin D]

• 4-8 years: 10 mg

• 9-13 years: 8 mg

• 13-18 years, girls: 15 mg

• 13-18 years, boys: 11mg

Foods high in iron include red meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, nuts, dried fruit, fortified whole wheat products, beans, dark green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, kale, etc.), oats, and tofu.


• 1-3 years: 19 grams

• 4-8 years: 25 grams

• 9-13 years: 28 grams

• 13-18 years: 35 grams

Foods high in fiber include lentils, nuts, raspberries, oats, avocado, pear, whole wheat products, chia seeds, flax seeds, and broccoli.

Despite the benefits of sunscreen, it can block UVB rays, which help the body produce vitamin D. There is a common misconception that vitamin D deficiency is caused by kids not being outside enough. And while that can contribute, there is still a chance of being deficient even when kids are outdoors daily. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, making it important for healthy bone growth and development. Signs of vitamin D deficiency include low bone density, muscle weakness or cramps, fatigue, and depression.


0-12 months: 400 IU

12-24 months: 600 IU

1 year+: 600 – 1000 IU

Foods high in vitamin D include salmon, tuna, mushrooms, fortified orange juice, fortified milk, eggs, and fortified cereals.

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Alternative sports options

YOUTH ACTIVITY OPTIONS abound in NoCo for soccer, baseball and basketball but this month, we’re talking about alternatives you may not have considered for your family.

Martial arts

Martial arts are defined as any of several techniques from around the world for combat, self-defense or competition. Examples include karate, jujitsu and taekwondo, though many other styles exist, and all training assists with physical fitness including balance and strength, plus mental focus, memory and spatial awareness. In addition, many disciplines emphasize developing positive character traits. For instance, the five tenets of taekwondo, which instructors want students to adhere to in and out of class–are Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Indomitable Spirit.

Options available to explore include local city recreation and activity centers as well as private instruction providers. Loveland Recreation, www.lovgov.org/services/parks-recreation, offers beginner, intermediate and upper rank taekwondo classes for ages 7 and up. Fort Collins Recreation, www.fcgov.com/recreation, offers beginner, intermediate and advanced Shotokan Karate classes for ages 7 and up and adults are welcome to participate with their children. A quick online search yields several private martial arts training providers in the region that welcome children as young as 4 years and adults alike.


Tennis provides physical fitness with cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Players develop motor skills, coordination, balance and agility and well as improved concentration, memory and problem-solving. Tennis teaches good sportsmanship, perseverance, integrity, and team-building skills, and being a no-contact sport, the risk of injuries is minimal.

• Greeley Recreation, mygreeleyrec.com, offers a variety of tennis clinics, camps and summer teams for youth as young as 4 years up to adults for all abilities.

• Lewis Tennis School directs all programs for the City of Fort Collins in addition to private lessons, events and tournaments for all ages and abilities (even wheelchair tennis!) Look at their website at www.lewistennis.com or search classes for the City at www.fcgov.com/recreation.


Dancing provides a fun way to promote physical fitness, creativity, and emotional well-being in children. It delivers cardiovascular fitness by improving endurance and stamina, and encourages strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. Mentally, dance develops creativity, self-expression, and self-confidence while improving focus and memory skills in learning dance steps.

Local city recreation departments offer affordable short-term classes for youth ages 2–10 including contemporary/lyrical, ballet, jazz, tap and line dance styles. Fort Collins Recreation, www.fcgov.com/ recreation, offers recreational, performance and adaptive dance classes for children as young as one up to 10 years which include ballet, tap, jazz hip hop. Greeley Recreation has a line dancing course for 12 years and up. And Loveland Recreation, www. lovgov.org/services/parks-recreation/publications/ activity-guide, offers classes, camps and even a family dance party for ages as young as 2 years. If you’re seeking longer-term classes, look to many dance companies and theaters listed online for a variety of styles.

• Williams Tennis School, www.williams tennisschool.com, leads the City of Loveland tennis program in addition to private lessons with offerings for adults and juniors ages 4–14. Players learn proper mechanics, footwork patterns, shot selection, tactics, mental skills and more. Their Front Range Academy is an intense new program for dedicated middle and high school tennis players.

• Highland Meadows Tennis Center, www. highlandmeadowstenniscenter.com, in Windsor offers tennis lessons for ages 5 up to adult for beginners up to intensive, tournament-level play.

BAER Family Fun

LEA HANSON Favorite Things

Age-appropriate birthday gifts

Happy birthday! Are you wondering what you should take to the next kid birthday? Following are some age-appropriate ideas.

For Preschoolers:

Buddy Blocks

Animal Puzzle

From: Clothes

Pony & Dandelion Toys, Fort Collins

Buy for: $12.50

Block puzzles are literally both those things: blocks AND puzzles. Double the fun and double the win! Block play allows children to co-construct and negotiate. They take turns, share materials, and cooperate. Playing with puzzles positively impacts a child’s physical skills, developing fine motor skills through the coordination of small muscles. Children who have developed fine motor skills tend to find it easier to write, draw and learn to play instruments.

This four-piece block set is fine for both animal-crazy kids and their eco-minded parents. Mix, match, and solve six animal puzzles with this great first block set. Made from rubber wood with child-safe stains, the playset develops creative thinking and problemsolving skills. It’s also fun to put blocks out of place to create a silly game of renaming animals and telling stories about brand new animal creations.

For Babies:

Baby Beads

From: Clothes

Pony & Dandelion Toys, Fort Collins

Buy for: $20

Baby beads or sensory balls are long-lasting toys babies can play with starting at six months and use in developmentally incremental ways through preschool. Little babies get stimulation and are occupied with this fascinating little toy. Wood beads are sturdily strung together with an elastic cord and can be manipulated into an endless number of configurations making it a great sensory item. Each time your little one manipulates this baby rattle toy creating sound, their hand-eye coordination and motor skills improve. These dense wooden baby balls are also chip and splinter resistant and make great baby teether toys.

When they’re toddlers and preschoolers, manipulating the little balls moves from grasping to rolling until they finally master throwing and catching.

For Toddlers: DIMPL DIGITS

Buy from: Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys, Fort Collins

Buy for: $21

Like a pop socket for smaller hands, these squishy, silicone bubbles captivate toddler fingers in a way that’s impossible to put down while simultaneously opening a unique new avenue for learning. On one side, the bubbles are embossed with the numerals one through ten, each accompanied by its matching word in English. When flipped over, words are written in Spanish along with dots to feel and count! This toy is colorful, unique, and wonderfully tactile - Little fingers can’t resist the numberlearning.



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Vegas or Bust

ADMITTEDLY ONE OF THE MORE tourist-trappy trips on our list, Vegas packs too much punch between its non-stop entertainment options and gorgeous, mid-70s April temps to be left off it. In fact, there’s so much to do in this SINcerely great city (see what we did there?) that we could’ve filled this month’s entire issue with all the info. Instead, we’ve packed as many possibilities as we could in right here so you can customize to your heart’s content!

After a 12-hour drive, check in at your hotel—with so many amazing options on and off the famous Las Vegas Strip, you can’t go wrong. Then, it’s time to venture out in one of the entertainment capitols of the world.

Catch the Fountains of Bellagio show in front of the Bellagio Resort (every 30 minutes until 7pm, then every 15 minutes until midnight), tour the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium (last admission 7pm, open until 8pm), or make your way to the Mirage for a volcanic eruption (every hour on the hour from 8pm-11pm.)

Day 1: Day 2:

Day 3:

Set some time aside on day three to visit an area park, such as Children’s Park at Town Square, an outdoor area with fountains and play equipment; Container Park with its multi-story “treehouse”, or the 180-acre Springs Preserve featuring a botanical garden, museums, and trails.

Afterwards, try out one of the city’s famous thrill rides, like the Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York Hotel, Adventuredome indoor theme park’s selection of rides at Circus Circus, the High Roller Las Vegas Strip Observation Wheel, or the Slotzilla Zipline over Fremont Street.

That evening, take in a dinner theater performance of Excalibur Hotel’s “Tournament of Kings”. Witness knights fighting to prove their chivalry and valor as you dine the way they did in King Arthur’s day, using only your hands!

Fun for the whole family awaits you on day two with a trip to the Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix Family Fun Center. Adults can try their hand at Euro HighSpeed Kart racing while kids take a spin on the Kiddie Kart track. While you’re there, jump on a ride or two. The Tornado Twister, Super Fun Slide, and Piff the Magic Dragon Coaster allow kids 38” or taller to ride with an adult, while the arcade will keep kids of all sizes busy for hours.

Next up, it’s not quite Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory but the Las Vegas strip might be the next best thing. Dip into Hershey’s Chocolate World, a

13,000-square-foot chocolate lovers paradise located in the New YorkNew York Hotel, featuring over 800 Hershey’s chocolates and candies. Or, visit M&Ms Las Vegas inside Showcase Mall, the first M&Ms store location ever built and a massive one at that, to create your own personalized M&M.

That evening, catch one of Las Vegas’s famous shows on the strip. Family favorites include Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, Blue Man Group, and Cirque Du Soleil. Be sure to look into tickets ahead of time for whichever show you choose.

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Signs of child abuse

When you suspect your child is being abused

IT’S HARD TO THINK ABOUT your child enduring some sort of abuse, regardless of whether it’s from an adult or a peer. Yet, knowing the signs that your child is being abused empowers you to take action to stop it, and help your child cope. In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, here are some tips to keep in mind.


If your child suddenly starts complaining of stomach aches or headaches, or starts having nightmares, becomes clingier, or reverts to old habits like bedwetting, it’s time to pay attention. Kids will often exhibit behaviors or complain of health issues rather

than talk about what’s happening. Because young children don’t have the vocabulary to tell you what is happening to them, they might act it out in play.

“If your child starts acting really differently from how they normally act, that can be an indication that something is going on. Watch what your young child is doing during play. For example, if you notice your child repeatedly playing out a scene where someone is screaming or being violent or another intense play scenario, that’s a red flag,” says

Loren Lomme, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist in Northern Colorado who specializes in children with anxiety, behavior issues, and trauma.



While abuse is scary to think about, knowing what to expect helps. Signs of abuse can vary by the type of abuse a child is receiving. For example, sexual abuse may have physical signs of pain in the genital area or frequent urinary infections. If the abuser is someone a child knows, they may avoid being left alone with that person or not want to continue a usual activity that involves that person.

If your child is being bullied at school, they might be afraid to go to school, or they may become mysteriously ill each morning. They may also come home with missing belongings or with inexplicable injuries. This can be on top of other changes in mood or behavior, including depression, decreased school performance, and poor concentration. Receiving abuse can also turn into selfharm, such as cutting.

In a teenage relationship, if your child tells you their boyfriend or girlfriend is jealous, possessive, or has unpredictable moods that make them uneasy, these are red flags for abuse within that relationship. On the other extreme, when a baby is being abused, you might notice an increase in excessive crying, clinging, fear, or developmental delays.


Before you talk to your child about suspected abuse, get yourself in a calm space. If you are anxious or

heightened, you will only scare your already scared child even more. When you do talk, try not to beat around the bush because it will only confuse your child. Be direct.

“You won’t plant an idea in your child’s head about someone hurting them if it’s not already happening, so it’s okey to calmly say, ‘Hey, I wanna make sure that you’re safe on the bus. Is anyone hurting you on the bus?’ Keeping it short, sweet, simple and direct is best,” Lomme says.

If you do hear about something bad happening, do your best to not freak out. Rather, just really listen to your child and allow them to share everything that’s on their mind. Thank them for sharing, and reassure them that you are glad they told you and that you will make sure they are safe from now on.

“It’s also good to tell your child what’s going to happen next. For example, you can say, ‘You won’t be riding the bus anymore, I will take you and pick you up from school until the bus is safe again,’” Lomme advises.

It’s even okay to tell them that you will report what is happening to the school authorities or the police to make sure other kids will be safe, too. Keep in mind that if your child is young, they might not necessarily know that what’s happening is wrong or bad, because they are more susceptible to being manipulated.

Also, make it a habit to routinely check in with your child on their

feelings. That way if a time comes when you suspect something is bothering them, you’ll have an established pattern in your relationship to talk about it.


If you suspect your child is being abused by an adult, such as a coach, club leader, or school staff – or even an older neighbor child – get some professional help. Look for a therapist that has training in trauma and abuse, including EMDR. If your child is younger than 9, consider play therapy.

Don’t worry about making it worse by seeking help. It’s better to deal with it now than have it affect your child as they grow.


To keep your child safe, establish set family rules around safety and raise awareness of what they should do if something unexpected happens. For example, walk them through what to do if they get lost, or how to say no or ignore a stranger trying to get their attention. By helping them practice what to do in a sticky situation, they will be more able to handle it if it happens.

“Teach your kids that your family doesn’t keep secrets, and if someone is doing something they need to tell you. Remind them to never get in a car with someone they don’t know, even if they tell you that they were sent by your parents,” Lomme says.



Program & Activity Guide

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6 | RMPARENT | PROGRAM & ACTIVITY GUIDE - ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT 970-663-3173 • Premiergymnastics.net 1410 East 11th Street • Loveland
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School District News: Greeley-Evans D6

District 6 awarded grant to create command center

Greeley-Evans School District 6 has been awarded $509,000 to build a Safety and Security Command Center to improve district-wide security and crisis response.

The district applied for the grant through the School Security Disbursement Grant Program, which was created by the Colorado State Legislature and funded with $16 million for the first year. More than 120 grant applications were received and 68 were selected to receive funding, including District 6.

The grants can be used

for capital construction to improve safety and security, training in student threat assessment, provide training for school resource officers, provide training in emergency response, and other areas of school safety and incident response.

District 6 will use the funding to build an incident response command center at the Administration Building in downtown Greeley. The grant will be used to pay for technology equipment and software, infrastructure, furniture, crisis response

equipment and training. The center will be used as a command center for crisis response and will eventually be built out to include a dispatch center to assist schools and district buildings, coordinate emergency response and provide continuous monitoring of security cameras.

“A big part of our work with the 2019 Bond Issue and our strategic plan, Innovation 2030, has been to continually look at how we can make our schools safer and more secure.

We have added security personnel, constructed secure entrances, installed thousands of security cameras and have enhanced training for staff,” said Superintendent Dr. Deirdre Pilch. “Creating a central command center to help manage emergencies and crisis situations has been a missing piece that this grant will help us fill.”

Funding will be available in May and District 6 hopes to have the Safety and Security Command Center up and running in the fall.

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Learning to read: PSD’s new literacy curriculum

Coming in from the playground at Poudre School District’s Livermore Elementary School, students in Kat Jayroe’s kindergarten and first-grade classes leap into literacy.

During instruction together as a class, students are taught at their grade level how to read new words they will see frequently and practice a sequential pattern of words with similar sounds called sound spelling patterns. Afterward, there are many opportunities to practice these skills.

While working independently, students can read their decodables — books that help them practice skills like phonemic awareness, phonics and comprehension.

This new curriculum follows the science of reading and helps students become fluent readers and writers.

“My favorite part about class is learning new words,” says Brooke, a first grader, after finishing her work in class.

To apply these word recognition literacy skills in other subjects, students shift into their module block after lunch, which pulls together language comprehension skills such as writing and reading with social studies and science content.

This is what a day generally looks like in PSD with the new elementary literacy curriculum.

Literacy is the key to building knowledge and engaging with the world. Adopted in spring of

2023, the new curriculum materials are intended to ensure every student has the foundational and critical literacy skills needed for academic and lifetime success. A big step toward that goal was equipping every elementary teacher with scientific and evidencebased materials to support their literacy instruction.

Most elementary schools in PSD began using Imagine Learning EL Education K-5 this school year. To support their different needs, Core Knowledge schools use Amplify Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) and dual language schools continue to use McGrawHill Wonders and Maravillas as English-Spanish companion programs.

All of these are rich knowledge-building curricula that intertwine learning to read and write with deep exploration of content.

Throughout her time as an educator, Jayroe says that the foundational aspects of this work remain relatively the same; sound spelling patterns, for example, haven’t changed. So, what is the difference?

“We are just using it better,” Jayroe says of the curriculum. Teachers are going more in depth; they’re following the science of reading and connecting literacy skills with the texts that students are learning to read and comprehend.

Head to PSD’s website for more https://www. psdschools.org/news/ elementary-literacycurriculum.


There are many options this summer in Poudre School District whether you want to catch up on credits or learn something new. Registration is open for summer school, camps, and programs.

Visit the Summer Learning Opportunities page on PSD’s website at https:// www.psdschools.org/ academics/summerlearning-opportunities. Information is posted when available so please check back often.

24 | RMPARENT School District News: Poudre

Jacob Findley – Loveland High School Senior

Since he was 5 years old, Loveland High senior Jacob Findley has been fascinated by chess. He started playing at home with his dad as a kindergartener at Edmonson Elementary School, and now – thousands of games later – has earned ninth place at the annual state chess tournament.

“My dad was selftaught, and he’s pretty good. He developed an interest and wanted to

give me an opportunity to have some hobby or other, and that’s what I chose,” Jacob recalls. “Then I kept enjoying it because it’s a great game.”

Jacob’s love for the game has motivated him to study chess and spend countless hours learning about its endless possibilities.

“You have high complexity games, but chess manages to out-

complicate those games while still having so little in it – 64 squares, 32 pieces. Super simple, but you’re creating it,” Jacob says. “Even if you do lose against someone, you can still be happy because you created a game that’s awesomelooking … this fierce battle that tells a story, even if you have that losing moment.”

Jacob started out playing within the Thompson School District

recreational chess system and playing games online, first with Chesskid.com and later Chess.com. It didn’t take long for him to realize that the higher the competition level, the more complicated the game became.

Jacob has spent thousands of hours playing chess and says that he uses tactics such as playing with his eyes closed – a common strategy for improving chess play.

“Playing with your eyes closed helps with playing with your eyes open. When you mentally move the pieces and calculate moves, it usually ends with you thinking ahead to what looks promising,” he says. “It’s the chess equivalent of a party trick.”

Jacob’s love for the game inspired him to start a chess club at LHS, where members gather weekly to learn about and play chess. His hope is to get more students involved in the club so it can continue after he graduates this spring. Jacob is planning to go to college this fall, though he hasn’t yet decided where. He’s sure that wherever he goes, he will continue to play online chess, though he hopes to also find a new community of chess players to join in person as well.

“It’s not something I will ever not be doing,” he says.

26 | RMPARENT School District News:
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Day contests, Loveland childcare, Greeley rebates, community mural


Northern Colorado students can share their voice and vision to inspire and raise awareness for climate action through writing or art. Inspired by Earthday. org’s My Future My Voice Youth Ambassador program, youth writers and activists between 11 and 18 years old, in grades 6 through 12, are invited to submit short stories, essays or poems to express their visions and desires for the future. Winners in each category will have the opportunity to read their work on the Earth Day Fort Collins main stage on Saturday, April 20 at Civic Center Park. Written entries are due by noon on Thursday, April 4. Students are also invited to engage in climate change advocacy through the ReGeneration Youth Art Project by sharing their visions and inspiring

collective action through all art mediums–paint/pencil, clay, fabric/thread–and using up-cycled and repurposed material is encouraged! Art submissions are due Friday, April 12. Artwork will be featured at Earth Day Fort Collins and curated works will be exhibited throughout 2024 at select businesses and public places. Full details the can be found at https:// sustainablelivingassociation. org/earth-day-fort-collins-2.


Affordable and accessible childcare has been a common challenge in our community. Families can now look to the newly renovated facility at 2366 E. 1st Street in Loveland for convenient, affordable solutions in one place. The Loveland Youth

Campus is a collaboration of nonprofit organizations including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County and Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center with support from United Way of Larimer County and Early Childhood Council of Larimer County. It is set to provide childcare, after-school care and youth development services for children ages 0-18, including specialty care for children and youth with physical or developmental disabilities. Future plans include mental health services for youth and families, family support services like housing counseling and other resources, food and basic needs distribution, recreation and possibly adult education. Visit lovelandyouthcampus.org to learn more.


Low-income households in Greeley that meet family size and income level requirements can receive up to $100 per household member in food tax rebates and $100 per household credit to their utility account. The food tax rebate program began in 1990 but the utility assistance program is new this year. Applicants must have been Greeley residents for 10 months minimum in 2023, reside in Greeley at

the time of application, and show proof of residency. Qualified family members are legal dependents claimed on federal form 1040 and a Social Security number for each family member listed on the application is also required. Apply by May 31 online in English, Spanish, Malay or Somali at www.greeleygov. com/finance, in person (with bilingual assistance) from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, at Greeley City Hall, 1000 10th Street, or by calling 970-350-9748.


First established as the Week of the Young Child in 1971 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the entire month of April is now designated as Month of the Young Child (MOYC)–a time to focus public attention on how to better meet the needs of all young children, families, caregivers and early care and education professionals. Poudre Libraries celebrate MOYC with an interactive mural for the young and young-atheart. Community members are invited to add their mark to the community 10-foot cityscape coloring banner when visiting the Harmony Library at 4616 South Shields in Fort Collins between April 1 through 30.

Community News
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Community Calendar

April events



Spring Artisan Market

Support over 50 artisans and crafters selling their beautiful creations Senior Center, FC. www.fcgov.com/events


Taste of Estes

Enjoy fun games, demos, interactive booths. YMCA of the Rockies – Estes Park Center. www.visitestespark. com/event/taste-ofestes-2024/15015


Earth Day Fort Collins

Activities for the entire family including info booths, crafts, live music, speakers, food trucks, farmers market and more. Civic Center Park, FC. Susustainableliving association.org/earth-dayfort-collins-2


BELONG: Open House Fundraiser for The Family Center/La Familia Fundraiser for The Family Center/La Familia with food trucks, mobile bar, kids activities, music

and a firsthand childcare experience. The Family Center La Familia, FC. thefamilycenterfc.org/ belong-fundraising-event


Kids in the Park Encourage kids to get outside and play! Learn about recreation programs, play in the park, dance to live music, enjoy food trucks, more. Twin Silo Community Park, FC. www.fcgov.com/events


Crazy For You®

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


OpenStage Theatre & Company Presents Big Fish Based on Daniel Wallace’s novel and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, see the story of a traveling salesman who lives life to the fullest and fantastical! Lincoln Center Magnolia Theater, FC. www.lctix.com


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


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


Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party Blue Arena, LV. www. treventscomplex.com


The Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience

Witness amazing dog tricks, big air stunts, Frisbee dogs, comedy antics, dancing dogs and athletic feats. Lincoln Center Performance Hall, FC. www.lctix.com


Then and Now: Reel Music Memorable music from Hollywood’s Silver Screen. Presented by Fort Collins Symphony. Costumes encouraged. Timberline Church, FC. www.lctix.com


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



Toughest Monster Truck Tour Blue Arena, LV. www. treventscomplex.com


A Dance Place Presents

Finding Nemo Jr.

Presented by musical theater students of A Dance Place. Monfort Concert Hall, GR. ucstars.showare.com


Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour Monfort Concert Hall, GR. ucstars.showare.com


Lost Marbles Theatrics: Little Women

True-to-the-book depiction of coming-of-age story with laughter, hope, heartbreak and loss. Rialto Theater, LV. Rialtotheatercenter.org


Sleeping Beauty

Canyon Concert Ballet presents. Lincoln Center Performance Hall, FC. www.lctix.com


Willy Wonka Jr

Presented by NoCo Theatrix. Hensel Phelps Theatre, GR. ucstars.showare.com


Face Vocal Band

Internationally acclaimed all-vocal rock band. Rialto Theater, LV. Rialtotheatercenter.org



Celebration of family and the American spirit.Lincoln Center Performance Hall, FC. www.lctix.com



Gardens on Spring Creek Family Program

Enjoy a guided walk then work together to decorate and plant a flower box to take home. Gardens on Spring Creek, FC. www.fcgov.com/ gardens/family-programs

Horsetooth Half Marathon

The 51st running starts at Holiday Twin Drive-in over Horsetooth Reservoir ending at New Belgium Brewing, FC. horsetooth-half.com


Great Western Trail Race Run or walk the 5K, 10K or Half Marathon plus Kids Fun Run. Severance Community Park, Severance. ww.runwindsorco.com

Loveland Classic/Earth Day 5K, 10K, Broken 15K, Kids 1-mile Walk/run to raise funds for Thompson Education Foundation. Centerra Trails around Equalizer and Houts Lakes, LV.



Flying Pig Charity 5K

Run, jog or walk to support children and families with disabilities through Foothills Gateway. Spring Canyon Park, FC.

www.foothillsgateway.org/ event/flying-pig-5k

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Teenage travels

My kid is going on a school trip. On a plane. To EUROPE. First let me acknowledge the privilege that exists to first be able to send my kid to a school that values this type of experience, and more so that our family can financially afford for her to do so. Those concepts are not lost on me; nor is the concept of the fact many reading this may not fall into any situation(s) that allows for their child to travel – with or without the family. If I haven’t already lost you, thinking about and anticipating this trip has made me view my teenager in some new ways, mainly how her growing maturation, and development of courage and independence makes me simultaneously happy and sad.

I’ll be sad because I’ll miss her for nine days. I’ll also be sad because I’m not going. Other than that, my feelings are happiness and joy in thinking the ways she’ll grow from the experience of being far away.

Although the desire to experience cultural immersion is nowhere on my daughter’s list for reasons she was interested in this trip, it will be a benefit, nonetheless. Visiting a new place—whether it’s a place where people say “pop” instead of “soda” or a place where most homes don’t have electricity. Cultural immersion integrates new

perspectives and practices into any traveler’s life and general paradigm about the world. Being immersed in a different culture with no immediate way out also develops empathy and understanding for others and differences, which are important—I’d argue—human skills for meaningful collaboration and connection.

I suspect my daughter isn’t learning or thinking about Milton Bennett ‘s (1986) Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity in her preparatory school course about the trip, she will experience these stages and changes. At first, she’ll notice differences, feel uncomfortable, and think the differences are weird

or even judge them. Later she’ll notice differences, feel uncomfortable, and find them interesting and even valuable. After even a week abroad—even when surrounded by her group of homogonous peers— she will also experience thoughts and revelations that the way of life she has always thought of to be “normal” isn’t the only effective way to live and be. This kind of brain gymnastics is kind of shift that opens up human perspective and values.

Traveling also changes the things we are afraid of, and it usually makes people excited to travel again. These feelings can build the confidence to help them move away for

college, a job, or simply more exciting excursions later in life. Thinking of my daughter developing courage in these ways makes me happy. Most parents are thrilled by the idea of their child spreading their wings, discovering their passions, and living their own life. A life guided by their personal values, dreams, and goals.

Going to Europe—at least in and of itself—will not teach my daughter this. But the courage she finds within from being far away from her normal life will. She will learn the world, while big, is also small and any country—and symbolically any goal or dream—is within her reach.

Time out
FREE ADMISSION Exhibitors • Live Music • Food Trucks Speakers • Local Makers • Beer Garden Yoga • Climate action • Voter Registration 12:15 Danse Afrik 1:30 Antonio Lopez 2:45 Spidercat SATURDAY, APRIL 22 FROM 11am-5pm CIVIC CENTER PARK A FORT COLLINS FREE FoCoMX Stage NEW THIS YEAR Bring canned goods & donate to Food Bank for Larimer County! RIDE YOUR BIKE • KIDS ZONE • FAMILY ACTIVITIES GET INSPIRED. TAKE ACTION.
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