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Take a class and save a life

Leadership skills for kids


ing of serv ents r a p o d a n color


Halloween highlights



ear y 5 2

Learning about feelings








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Special Sections Fun &

PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 What a difference a year makes—And, in some ways, doesn’t

FIRST YEARS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Understanding emotions—Learning about feelings through books

Fi t


Explore fall enrichment opportunities with a variety of programs throughout northern Colorado.

FAMILY ACTIVITIES . . . . . . . . 10 Halloween highlights—Pumpkin patches, hayrides, trick-or-treating and more!

LEARN AND LIVE . . . . . . . . . . 12 Saving lives—Learn (or refresh) first aid and CPR skills




COMMUNITY NEWS . . . . . . . 14 Community gatherings—Fall and park celebrations, gear swap, internet safety presentations

HEALTHY LIVING . . . . . . . . 16

Getting on track with apps—Stay organized, motivated and accountable

CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Events and activities for parents, kids and families

TIME OUT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 6 Finding self-discipline—Homework is hard for everyone

School District News GR-E 6 School District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Educators honored, Northridge HS earns award, Greeley-Evans D6 awarded Succeeds Prize

Poudre School District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Bamford Elementary’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Athlete of the month, Health and wellness


Feed your kids nutritious foods that build strong bodies and healthy immune systems.


It takes all kinds to be leaders. See how you can help your child develop the skills needed to lead.

Thompson School District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Bernie Knittel finds her purpose

ABOUT THE COVER: Larkin loves dance, superheroes, aspires to be in KISS when he grows up, and hopes to have his own YouTube channel. Photo by Cheri Schonfeld,





What a difference a year makes… And, in some ways, doesn’t


CUs are full, overflowing even. Cases of COVID-19 along with deaths are on the rise. And masks are recommended for indoor use. Sounds like last year, right? On the other hand, kids are in school. Businesses are open. Families and friends are gathering. So what has changed, I ask myself. Well, one big thing, I guess: The basically universal availability of vaccines, which are now approved for kids to 12 and soon to be for kids down to 5. We just went on a four-generation vacation to Taos where we all stayed in the same rented house. That is something that we wouldn’t have even considered a year ago. In fact, a year ago, prevaccine, we didn’t even eat indoors together. We sat out in my parents’ backyard, safely distanced, and ate carry-out food on TV trays. So back to Taos: We had little Fin at not quite three months up to my Dad, Jim. Except for Fin, we’re all vaccinated. We played cards, cooked and ate meals together and chatted. We even went out for dinner when we could sit outside. New Mexico also requires masks indoors at stores and restaurants, so we felt safer overall being out and about. The speed at which they developed these life-saving vaccines last year is incredible, a testament to what we can do with government and private business partnerships and the drive to get it done. I remember the feeling of relief and freedom we felt last spring. As most people, we didn’t go crazy. I remember vividly, though, the first time that I gave my mom a hug in over a year. What it has meant for us is more family time together, knowing that the more-vulnerable among us are as protected as we can make them. It’s great, too, to see kids back in school. We know so much more now than we did a year ago about how the virus spreads. I’m also glad to see businesses getting back to normal. Throughout the balancing act, I feel very fortunate to be able to hang out with our grandson, our kids, and my parents, knowing that I’ve done what I could to stay healthy and keep them safe. We are definitely all in this together! Scott

OCTBER 2021 • Volume 25, Issue 5 PUBLISHER Scott Titterington, (970)221-9210 EDITOR Kristin Titterington, (970)221-9210 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Emily Zaynard ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Greg Hoffman, (970)689-6832 DISTRIBUTION MANAGER ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE Susan Harting COVER PHOTO Cheri Schonfeld CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Theresa Baer, Lea Hanson Lynn U. Nichols

ROCKY MOUNTAIN PUBLISHING PO Box 740 Fort Collins, CO 80522 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. ©2021 Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without express written permission is prohibited.






first years Understanding emotions Learning about feelings through books



s a parent, we sometimes need help teaching lessons to our young kids. Books are a great way to promote early life skills, like cooperation, sharing and making friends. Being able to put into action these skills often begins with a young child learning to recognize what they are feeling and understanding how to regulate those feelings. Here are several well-received picture books to check out from your local library or find at a bookstore. They not only help kids identify emotions, but they also help kids learn how to cope with the different feelings that come their way, every day. The books listed below are geared toward preschool to early elementary-aged kids. After reading one of these books, don’t be afraid to share memories of times you felt these same emotions when you were a child. Hearing your stories not only helps them understand their feelings, but also normalizes these feelings for them. My Mouth is a Volcano By Julia Cook This charming book teaches children about the subtle lessons of not interrupting, being polite, and gauging conversations. You’ll get to know Louis who explains the feelings of wanting to shout out what he’s thinking, and how he learns to stop the eruption and wait for the right moment. Bubble Gum Brain: A Picture Book About Growth Mindset By Julia Cook Another book by this former school counselor teaches the value of having an open mind and the very important lesson that mistakes help us grow. You’ll meet two opposite characters, Bubble 8


Gum Brain and Brick Brain who clearly illustrate different ways of thinking—and how trying new things helps us grow. Wilma Jean the Worry Machine By Julia Cook In this award winning book, young kids learn about what anxiety feels like and how to quell their worries. When I Am Worried By Michael Gordon This easy reader is geared to 3 to 5 yearolds, helping them learn how to selfregulate their anxious thoughts. It uses easy rhyming and colorful illustrations to bring its messages home. The author has a series of books on teaching emotions. Marcy’s Having All the Feels: Understand and Value All of Our Emotions and Feelings By Allison Edwards This is a good primer to introduce several feelings at once: anger, frustration, jealousy, sadness, feeling embarrassed and more. Kids learn that we are not our feelings, and we can control our feelings. Geared toward older preschoolers and early elementary ages.

When Sophie Gets Angry— Really, Really Angry By Molly Bang There’s a reason this charming picture book won the Caldecott honor and was chosen for the Teacher’s Award. It teaches about the emotion of anger from a child’s point of view, and how she finds calm. The story is told using just a few words and strong, colorful illustrations. There are two more books in this series about how Sophie deals with hurt feelings and frustration. The Awfulizer: Learning to Overcome the Shame Game By Kristin Maher The Awfulizer is a monster who makes James’ life miserable. But when he shares his feelings with his parents, he realizes he is the one with the power. It includes a list of ways to empower your preschool or early elementary-aged child. What’s the Worst that Could Happen? by Yewande Daniel-Ayoade Hang on to this one for early elementary years to help teach bravery in making new friends. Kayla works through her fear of joining an established group of friends, going through some failure but eventually finding success.



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family activities

Halloween Highlights

Pumpkin patches, hayrides, trick-or-treating and more! LEA HANSON


alloween closes this month and after most of us missed trick-or-treating and other spooky events and outings last year, we are chomping at the bit to get out there and get scared. Northern Colorado has a little bit of everything: corn mazes, pumpkin patches, trick-or-treating, parades, petting zoos, face-painting and more! Following are some of the highlights. Also, be sure to check out our calendar for more fun events. Bartels Farm Pumpkin Patch Corn maze, straw or haybale maze, pumpkin patch, child-sized haybale maze, tractor-pulled hayrides, petting zoo, farm animals, and more! September 22-November 4, 10am-6pm 3424 E Douglas Rd., Fort Collins Fritzler Farm Park Friztler Farm boasts a number of types of events making fun for your entire family all in one visit! Corn maze, pumpkin house, pedal go-carts, corn pit, pumpkin cannon, pillow jump, face painting, and more! September 19-October 31, Fridays 4-10pm, Saturdays 11am-10pm, Sundays 125pm, 20861 CR 33, LaSalle Halloween Carnival 2021 The Halloween carnival is back and it’s bigger than ever! Halloween for trickor-treating at the Windsor History Museum with games, giveaways, and lots of fun. Saturday, October 30 Windsor History Museum, 100 N 5th St., Windsor Halloween and Trick-or-Treat at The Avery House A spooky and historical event that will be fun for the whole family! Sunday October 31, 5-7:30pm. Avery House, 328 W Mountain Ave., Fort Collins 10


Hankins Farms Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch This year’s corn maze and activities area is called “The Hollow.” It is a great escape this time of year. Watch the leaves turn, enjoy the fresh air, and escape with your family, Throughout October, Saturdays 11am5pm, Sundays 12-5pm. 26745 Weld County Road 17, Johnstown

NoCo’s Greatest Drive-Thru Trick-Or-Treat The drive-thru trick-or-treat is back for a second year! A socially distanced Halloween for families, with something for everyone. Saturday, October 30, 10am-2:30pm Thompson School District R2-J, 800 S Taft Ave., Loveland

Harvest Farm Corn maze, pumpkin patch-picking, fall festival, kiddie (mini) corn maze, straw or haybale maze, child-sized haybale maze, corn cannon, honey from hives on the farm, farm animals, and more. October 1-28, Fridays and Saturdays 10am-9pm, Sundays 12-7pm. 4240 East County Road 66, Wellington

Pumpkins on Parade at The Gardens on Spring Creek Includes the second annual Community Carved Pumpkin Contest, hundreds of pumpkins and gourds arranged across The Gardens in artistic displays and fun and festive activities for the whole family! Sunday, October 21-24, 9pm Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., Fort Collins

Jack Lantern’s Corn Maze Two corn mazes, a friendly daytime maze, two pumpkin patches that allow you to pick your perfect pumpkin or hop in on the wagon ride for a free tour of the family farm. October 1-31 2318 S. County Road 5, Fort Collins

Spooktacular Halloween at The Promenade Shops at Centerra Spooky afternoon of games and giveaways, vendors, crafts, and candy! Sunday, October 31, 12-3pm. Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, 6025 Sky Pond Dr., Loveland

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| 11

learn and live

Saving lives

Learn (or refresh) first aid and CPR skills THERESA BAER


ccidents and medical emergencies happen quickly and often. Are you or your children prepared to assist in such an event? Yes, your kids can learn basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills to successfully care for themselves and others. On its website, the American Heart Association indicates “children as young as nine years old can learn and retain CPR skills.” And though younger children may lack the strength and understanding to perform CPR, they can learn to recognize an emergency and take the proper steps to contact emergency service when needed. Classes and resources abound for adults and teens (such as CPR for those becoming lifeguards or babysitters), but perhaps you’d like to teach and/or learn these skills with your younger children? FOR CHILDREN IN GRADES 1–3 Look for short videos online or for books such as “The 25 ABCs of Emergency First Aid”, which teaches children what to do to get help fast if they are injured or if they see someone else who is hurt and needs help, and covers common first-aid situations such as burns, cuts and scrapes, insect bites, etc. Read/watch and discuss these resources together to make it applicable for your home, devices, etc.

Find local classes held in person, online or a combination American Heart Association: American National Red Cross: On-Site CPR:



Quickly find AEDs in Larimer County FOR ADULTS ALONE OR THOSE WITH CHILDREN IN GRADES 4–8 The American Heart Association (AHA) developed the Family & Friends® CPR coursework specifically for those interested in learning CPR but not requiring a CPR course completion card. Debbie Campbell, authorized AHA instructor for On-Site CPR in northern Colorado, says, “Family & Friends is a one-hour, video-led, handson course ideal for any caregivers such as parents, grandparents or babysitters. We use adult and infant manikins with realistic features and instant feedback which helps students learn to use the right amount of force in order to compress the victim’s chest to the correct depth and teaches them how hard to breathe to get the chest to rise and fall…so real life feeling for adults, infants and children.” She continues, “It covers AED machines as well that are hooked up to the manikins to simulate a real life scenario and the steps one would take to use the machine.” When asked about participant age recommendations, Campbell answered, “Family & Friends CPR would be good for those as young as 4th or 5th grade,

Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs are portable lifesaving machines to check a person’s heart rhythm and let the operator know whether or not the victim’s heart needs a jolt to reestablish a normal heart rhythm. Poudre Fire Authority adopted the PulsePoint app to help find the precise locations of AEDs across Larimer County. Download the app at www.

especially those with the responsibility of watching siblings because students practice abdominal thrusts and conscious and unconscious choking. It’s low cost and brief…an hour is about the maximum amount of time kids pay attention… and gives students the knowledge and confidence to help in an emergency.” Campbell continued, “If you’re looking at a full CPR/AED/First Aid certified class for maybe a junior high student, I suggest breaking it up for several sessions to keep students engaged.” The Family & Friends class taught by On-Site is one-hour and held at the northern Colorado location of your choice for $15 per person. Take the next step to learning first aid and CPR. You just never know when it could save a life.

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community news Community gatherings

Fall and park celebrations, gear swap, internet safety presentations THERESA BAER

EAST GREELEY PARKS COMMUNITY CELEBRATION The Balsam Sports Complex refresh and the East Greeley Natural Area projects are complete! Designed to the specific needs of the community that lives there, these improvements offer opportunities to “enjoy the outdoors through nature play, walking and more…and were made possible by grant funding from the Colorado Health Foundation and Great Outdoors Colorado.” Celebrate the grand opening from 3pm to 6pm on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Discovery Bay Waterpark parking lot, located at 714 E. 24th St. with live music, food trucks, outdoor activities including creating artwork and a scavenger hunt for giveaways, and the Greeley Recreation Play on the Way mobile recreation trailer. To learn more about the East Greeley Parks projects and community celebration, visit USED OUTDOOR GEAR SWAP AND SALE Out with the warm weather gear and in with the colder weather gear! Families looking to buy or trade gently used outdoor equipment have an opportunity this month at the Get Up to Get Out, Gear Swap on Saturday October 16 from 10am until 1pm at the Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr. in Fort Collins. If you’re interested in selling or trading gear, contact Sarah Olear at Check for event updates at recreation/calendar. WINDSOR FALL CLEAN-UP DAYS Windsor Utility customers can dispose of household trash, yard debris, small furniture, appliances, glass items and more, at no additional cost, at this year’s Fall Clean-Up event on October 15 and 16 from 9am to 3pm at the 14


Public Services facility, 922 N. 15th St. According to the town’s website, “An original voucher is required to participate and can be found on the back page of the September Windsor Matters print magazine mailed to all Windsor Utility Customers. If the voucher is misplaced, residents can bring valid identification such as a driver’s license and a copy of their utility bill to Windsor Town Hall, 301 Walnut St., during regular business hours for a replacement.” Details are posted at CHECK OUT “GADGETS & THINGS” AT LIBRARIES Did you know the Poudre River Public Library District offers a variety of gadgets, equipment, and other useful items for customers to check out? New and popular items include: • Curiosity Passes for free admission to local attractions • Discover Packs with a parking pass good for any of the Larimer County parks and

open spaces, map, wildflowers book and regulations brochure • Take-home Technology like mobile devices and hotspots • Telescope Kits • Specialty cake pans • GoPro camera kits • Energy monitoring kits & more!

Visit things, to see the available items and specific details on lending limits, renewals, and holds for each item. PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST The Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins is hosting their Pumpkins on Parade event again this year with hundreds of pumpkins and gourds arranged in artistic displays and fun, festive family activities. All ages and skill levels are welcome to enter the Community Carved Pumpkin Contest by October 18. Divided into three age groups (youth, teen, and adult) you have the chance to win fun prizes for the first place winners across the following categories: Best Garden-Themed Pumpkin, Most Original and Funniest. Pumpkins will be displayed during the entire Pumpkins on Parade event, October 21 to October 24. Timed-entry tickets and contest registration links are available at Contestants will receive a 50-percent discount on their event ticket!

KIDS’ NITE OUT RETURNS TO LOVELAND Kids’ Nite Out (KNO) Across America returned to the Chilson Recreation Center in Loveland last month, after an 18-month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Occurring nearly every Saturday from 7–10:30pm at the Chilson Recreation Center, 700 E. 4th St. in Loveland, KNO provides ages 7–14 with games and activities such as swimming, DJ dancing, sports tournaments, arts and crafts, and more! Nationally background-checked staff monitor all areas, and the cost is $15 per person and dinner vouchers are available for an additional $7. Learn more and LUNCH LAB SERVES 130,000+ SUMMER MEALS The Food Bank of Larimer County’s Lunch Lab distributed over 130,000 meals and snacks at more than 60 locations this past summer. The Lunch Lab provides free meals to kids while they’re not in school in June, July

and August. If you’re able to donate to support these and other food programs—or if you’d like to volunteer at the pantry, next summer for Lunch Lab, or for a specific event—visit KEEPING KIDS SAFE ON THE INTERNET In an effort to increase awareness and provide tools to keep children and teens safe from the dangers of sexual predators, online enticement and grooming, cyberbullying, social networking websites, and email, instant messaging (IM), smartphones and sexting, Fort Collins Police Services will host an internet safety presentation on Tuesday, November 9 from 6:30pm to 8pm. This event is free but registration is required: RSVP to Randine Nelson at 970-416-2384 or If you’re unable to attend this presentation, look for more digital safety resources, including a full-length “Keep Kids Safe on the Internet” video presentation, at RMPARENT

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healthy living Getting on track with apps

Stay organized, motivated and accountable LY NN U. NICHOLS


ou want to get and stay organized but with so much going on it’s hard to keep track. The solution? A little help to break out of the haze and take action. Here are some of the best free apps out there to help you manage daily tasks and meet your exercise and diet goals for you and your family. Cozi ( iOS, Android This easy-to-use app helps you keep your family organized. It’s one place to see your color-coded calendar, track school schedules, manage grocery lists, store recipes and check off to-dos. You can even keep a family journal. Make a few notes on an event and take a picture to photo-journal your family’s life and email it instantly to family and friends. InstaCart ( iOS, Android If you find your favorite grocery store’s ordering process clunky, try InstaCart. Not only can you set up orders for groceries, you can order from 1,000s of other stores. The app includes deals to save money and tells you how much time you’ve saved on each trip. It boasts grocery delivery in as little as an hour. TaskRabbit ( iOS, Android Wish you had another set of hands? TaskRabbit finds you one. Their trusted “Taskers” provide a variety of services, including assembling that IKEA furniture that’s still sitting in boxes, helping pack up boxes for moving, mounting artwork, cleaning, shopping and local deliveries. Each task is assigned an hourly wage starting at around $20 for simple tasks like shopping and goes up from there. 16


Workout for Women ( iOS Expressly designed for women, this fitness and weight-loss app won the best of 2020 award for fitness apps. People like it because it gives you reminders to motivate you to work out—in as little as seven minutes with no gym or equipment required. It also gives daily motivational quotes to inspire you to keep moving. It’s easy to choose workouts that meet your fitness goals. It integrates with Apple Health so you can track your workouts, calories and weight. Nike Training Club ( iOS, Android This award-winning app is great for those who want to tap into classes and launch a results-oriented exercise, nutrition and wellness program. Workouts range from 5 to 60 minutes and include yoga, core and glute workouts, HIIT, strength training, aerobics, stretching and more. Nike also has an app for runners called the Nike Run Club.

Fooducate ( This award-winning app lets you scan processed foods to see what sugars, additives, dyes, and preservatives they contain. Foods are given a grade from A to F for calorie content. You might be surprised by the grade some seemingly healthy products get. You can also tap into recipes and healthy eating tips. Eight Glasses a Day ( iOS A simple app that helps you and your kids stay hydrated. Each time your kiddo finishes a glass of water they tap a glass and the serving disappears. At the end of the day you can review how well they did by seeing how many glasses are left. GoNoodle ( iOS, Android These exercise videos and move-along games in both English and Spanish are geared toward getting younger kids moving. Includes mindfulness videos for winding down and lessons on how to build relationships and identify emotions.


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Avoiding wintertime cold & flu

With Food T

Lynn U Nichols

Tips on eating right to keep kids upright



he phrase ‘you are what you eat’ has been said so many times it has lost its meaning, so stop for a second and really let it soak in. You. Are. What. You. Eat. What you ingest becomes a part of you. It gets built into your bones, organs and blood. Cell by cell, bite by bite, it becomes you. That can be daunting or inspiring. Either way, it’s a good reminder to feed your kids nutritious foods that grow healthy bodies and strong immunities. So, what is healthy eating? It’s eating whole foods that are close to their natural form. It’s avoiding processed foods. It’s limiting sugary snacks and sodas. It’s eating clean foods without pesticides, fertilizers, colorings, antibiotics, growth hormones or genetically modified ingredients. It takes mindfulness to eat well, and sometimes a shift in thinking. The payoff is strong kids. Kids who can thrive. Kids who can fight off sicknesses that come their way this winter. “My philosophy is that food is medicine,” says Dr. Shannon Evans, Functional Medicine Physician with New Beginnings Functional Medicine Clinic in Fort Collins. START WITH VEGGIES A great place to start when you are grocery shopping is with the produce aisle. Instead of building your meal list around quick foods or meat, build it around vegetables. Do your best to make

3 fresh ways to get over a sickness fast

1. If your child succumbs to an illness that demands an antibiotic, like strep throat, Dr. Evans recommends giving your child a kid-friendly probiotic at twice the recommended dose, for a full month. It takes that much and that long to restore healthy gut bacteria. 2. Did you know elderberry extract has been shown in studies to reduce the length of a cold or flu if taken right from the start? Continue it for seven days for your kids who are 6 months and older. 3. Coming down with a cold? Help it move through your kid’s system faster by going to the chiropractor or getting an osteopathic manipulation to promote lymphatic drainage. It may help shorten a cold’s duration.

half of your plate—or half of the food on the table—vegetables. Vegetables have important antioxidants and phytonutrients that increase our immunity. When shopping, select a rainbow of colors to ensure you are tapping into these powerful nutrients. Dr. Evans asks parents to think outside the box when it comes to getting kids to eat vegetables. “Be creative. For instance, substitute mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes or zucchini for noodles. Sneak in some kale or spinach in their morning smoothies,” she says. AVOID FOODS THAT CAUSE INFLAMMATION Did you know that your food choices can create inflammation? Inflammation is a big enemy of good health. According to Johns Hopkins, low-level

chronic inflammation can develop into diseases. Some of these diseases include type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression, asthma and autoimmune diseases such as colitis and arthritis. “If you are eating things your body doesn’t recognize—like pesticides, dyes, and chemicals—it launches an inflammatory reaction. Inflammation throws off your gut. When your gut isn’t healthy, it isn’t as able to absorb minerals and nutrients,” Dr. Evans says. “A huge part of your immune system is in your gut.” Inflammation is also caused by eating unhealthy foods, including artificial trans fats (found in processed foods like donuts, fast food and frozen pizza), sugar and high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oil (versus healthy olive oil and avocado oil), refined carbohydrates (sugary breakfast cereals, sweets) and processed meat. “Read labels and be mindful about what you are feeding your kids. If you can’t pronounce something, your body doesn’t know how to process it,” she says. EAT ORGANIC AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE “A good place to start is by looking at the ‘dirty dozen’ list of fruits and vegetables and buying those items organic. Buying organic animal products is also important. If you have a big freezer, buy a quarter beef with a friend from a local grower. Local growers tend to use less hormones and antibiotics,” Dr. Evans says. Look for meats, eggs and dairy products that say free range, cage free, hormone free, antibiotic free and organic. ASSOCIATE EATING WITH GOOD FEELINGS Create positive feelings around food, and help your kids use food for the right

reasons. Avoid equating food with love, reward or punishment. Making food about health versus emotions means your kids won’t grow into emotional eaters who eat to feel better or snack because they are bored. Create a peaceful dinner table that is stress free and fosters connection to help kids associate eating with true warmth and love. Don’t punish picky eaters or try to force feed them. It’s not your job to make your kids eat something. Your job is simply to make sure healthy foods are available at each meal. Eat well and have a healthy winter.

Healthy snacks to pack

Pack these immune-boosting foods in your child’s lunch or provide them for an after-school snack throughout the winter to promote wellness. • Broccoli and cauliflower florets Cruciferous vegetables boost immunity and ward off cancer and other unwanted diseases by turning on antioxidants that combat free radicals, or cell-damaging agents. • Greek yogurt topped with blueberries Choose Greek yogurt for a low sugar/high protein punch. Its probiotics will help with good gut bacteria, which in turn strengthens your child’s immune system. Add blueberries to the top to immediately boost immunity. According to a study by the University of Auckland, adults who ate blueberries regularly were 33 percent less likely to get a cold, thanks to flavonoids in the berries. • Hard-boiled eggs Eggs are a heavy hitter for immunity, because they are packed with vitamin D. In winter, our vitamin D levels drop because we are not out in the sun. It’s a good idea for kids, and adults, to take a supplement of vitamin D. • Apples The “apple a day…” saying didn’t come out of nowhere. Studies show the phytochemical antioxidants in apples boost immunity. Oranges, grapefruit, pineapple and other citrus fruits are great, too, since they are loaded with vitamin C. RMPARENT

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Leadership skills

for anyone 3

Ways to turn any child into a leader

Lynn U Nichols


t’s easy to assume that outgoing, extroverted kids are the only ones who can lead. Yet sometimes, it’s the quiet, thoughtful kids who make the best leaders. Whether or not your child can lead often comes down to developing certain life skills, rather than core personality. Kids who learn how to take risks, persist through failure, show integrity, and communicate with others are the ones who become leaders. Great leaders tend to cooperate, not dominate. They work well in groups, listen well, and thrive on the we rather than me. Here are three ways to help your child develop leadership skills. 1. SHOW, DON’T TELL The family is a perfect place for kids to get their first taste of leading. When kids get a chance to lead it’s often a



big self-esteem booster. You can help your kids practice leadership skills by being receptive to ideas and being willing to take the back seat. Make it a point to set up opportunities for your kids to lead. For example, encourage your kids to make choices, and let them take turns being in charge of family time. Even though you might not feel like playing Barbies all afternoon or going fishing on a cold day, try not to pass judgment. If siblings object, remind them that their turn will come. You can work to keep the group cohesive so the activity is a success, in turn helping to create a culture of acceptance and respect for differences. Even when you don’t realize it, your kids are studying you to learn how to interact with the world. Likely

you’ve heard your son or daughter say something exactly the way you say it. Be conscious about how you lead family activities and chores. Do you dictate how to do things, or encourage your family members to offer their opinions, think up ideas, and try new things? Effective leaders put a vision out there, then welcome a discussion about the best way to reach it. (Of course, this doesn’t apply to established house rules, which are not meant to be negotiated.) If you are working on a family project and things don’t go as planned, accept that it is part of the process and try another route without any regrets or hard feelings. Your kids might come up with some wacky ideas, but exploring them instead of dismissing them sends the message that you think they are smart and creative, instilling confidence.

When solving a problem or deciding the next step as a leader, try saying what you are thinking out loud. It not only helps kids experience critical thinking in action, it sends the message that leadership takes thought and consideration. “Thinking out loud is a great way to teach a variety of skills,” says Tom Kowalski, MA, LPC, a licensed professional counselor in Fort Collins. 2. ENCOURAGE RISK-TAKING One trait of highly successful people is their comfort in taking calculated risks. After all, if kids don’t have the opportunity to fail, they won’t have the opportunity to succeed. Sometimes, kids hesitate to try something new or step out because they are afraid of failure. If a child

doesn’t perform well at a new sport or activity on the first try, they might claim that they don’t like it when really it’s just that they weren’t good at it instantaneously. Show your kids that mastering a skill takes practice. The next time you are learning something new together, comment on your progress, celebrating the small steps you’ve made. For example, if you and your child are learning to play tennis together, you could say, ‘We got the ball over the net three times, last week it was just two!’ Or, if you are working a crossword puzzle and you don’t succeed, comment out loud about your failure, as in, ‘Well, I didn’t get all the answers right, but I bet I can do better next time.’ A part of risk-taking is screwing up. As parents, letting our kids make mistakes and model making them ourselves, especially if we have a child who is a perfectionist, is important. Admitting our mistakes, even laughing at ourselves, teaches a deeper leadership skill—that of humility. The truth is that leaders who admit their mistakes often get respect. Along with the idea of accepting mistakes is the idea of accepting uncertainty. Leaders must be able to make decisions. Sometimes, people lock up out of fear that they’ll make the wrong one. Outcomes cannot always be predicted. Teaching kids that it’s okay to fail, then try again despite hard feelings, makes risk-taking feel less risky. “Kids need to know to expect times of discomfort. Talk to your kids about what they are feeling, explaining how some feelings are not much fun, but they won’t last,” Kowalski adds. It’s a good idea for parents, teachers and coaches to present opportunities to lead over and over again. If an introverted child doesn’t jump at the chance this time, maybe she will the next. Quiet kids are not necessarily less confident kids but they do have to break out of their acquired

mode to lead. It’s important to consider your child’s temperament in relation to leadership: Ask yourself where your child falls on the continuum of introverted, passive behavior to extroverted, assertive behavior. Effective leaders often fall somewhere in the middle. They are willing to speak out, encourage cooperation, and delegate, but with a good dose of humility and self-awareness. 3. MODEL EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Early on, promote leadership skills in kids through turn-taking, whether it relates to talking, listening, playing with a toy, or picking an activity. Doing so empowers a younger sibling or a shy friend who tends to be a follower to speak up and lead. It also reins in a bossy child, giving them a chance to practice self-restraint—another important leadership quality. Besides turn-taking, model and encourage other basic communication skills, including how to greet people and initiate conversations, speak clearly, make eye contact, and mind manners. Learning how to talk to people, respect others, give compliments, accept feedback, and learn to give and take are valuable communications skills for leadership and life. Politeness and patience are the building blocks of relationships, and teaching kids to say please and thank you are powerful staples. These simple words make other people feel heard and respected. Politeness and sharing are important for making friends and maintaining meaningful relationships. When kids are rude or interrupt, other kids avoid them. When kids are kind and show interest in others, they are often embraced and looked to for direction. It takes all kinds to make great leaders. The key is creating a base of skills so when an opportunity arises, kids are able to step forward. RMPARENT

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n a remote region in Transylvania, stories are told of the vampire: an undead creature who emerges from his coffin only at night--and, as legend has it, can transform himself into a bat or even a wolf. But the residents of Doctor John Seward’s sanatorium and manor in England know that this “vampire” is only a superstition…or is it? Strange things are happening at the Seward house--his niece, Lucy, is suffering from a mysterious loss of blood, a patient of his has been acting up more than usual, and a friend returning from Transylvania has hallucinations of “wolves, blood, and vampires.” Add to that, a strange man by the name of Count Dracula has moved into the adjoining estate, bringing with him coffins filled with his native soil. Wolves howling at night, puncture wounds on Lucy’s neck,



and a man who only emerges at night… is it possible the legend of the vampire is no legend at all? This October, Debut Theatre Company celebrates its 30th anniversary with the play that began Debut: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which defined much of modern vampire lore and cemented the vampire’s place in the horror genre. Dracula has become a classic for Debut, too—first performed in 1991 with the very first Players and then every ten years since. What makes this show worth doing four times? As director Lee OsterhoutKaplan says, “Dracula is the show where kids first get bitten by the theatre bug.” It’s inspired many young performers who would go on to become part of Debut Players and carry on the magic of performing. Now, the Debut Players of 2021 are bringing Dracula to life once more, not

only through compelling characters, but also through historically accurate sets and costumes, well-researched and imaginatively created props and effects, and more. For example, Leo Cheng (age 14), who plays Jonathan Harker, is head of music and is composing piano music to underscore the show, and Miles Crossan (age 15), who plays Professor Van Helsing, is co-head of set, and is choreographing fight scenes. This October, spend an evening immersed in Victorian England with the residents of the Seward manor as they delve into the darkness of man’s mind and battle against the curse of the vampire. Night unto night, the Debut Theatre Company will bring all the wonder, suspense, and magic of Dracula to the stage. A tale suitable for all ages, Dracula offers both drama and comedy fun for the whole family!

About Debut Theatre Company


Photography by: Ross & Jill Cunniff, Poudre Digital LLC

About Debut Players


arking its 30th season, Debut Theatre Company (DTC) presents classic stories performed by young actors for family audiences. Debut Players–DTC’s signature troupe–is a regionally-based and auditioned group of up to 18 young actors between the ages of 10 and 17 years from eight different area schools. Brought together by their love for the stage, Debut Players bring age-appropriate productions to life for regional audiences. True to the troupe structure, these emerging actors are responsible for every aspect of this production: from sets, costumes and publicity to lights, sound, special effects, and acting!

o-founded in 1991 by siblings Lee OsterhoutKaplan and Gregg Osterhout, Debut Theatre Company is based in Fort Collins. It is Northern Colorado’s only troupe structured, non-profit, young person’s theatre school and acting company. In addition, it is the only hands-on, year-round, professional children’s theatre in Colorado. DTC offers troupes, classes, and workshops for a wide range of ages, talents and interest levels. DTC trains creative young people in the theater arts and provides community productions for the benefit of regional adults and children. Producing a live performance is more than just acting; the show becomes a team effort that the members can take pride in. “Theatre for young people, by young people” is more than just our motto, according to Artistic Director Kaplan. Through “hands-on” experiences, the Debut founders believe that learning is best done by doing and that quality arises through pride of ownership and participation. The actors don’t just act. They participate in the design and construction of everything from posters to costumes to sets. Debut’s members are Debut! “Because the production of a play embodies the skills a person needs to face life’s challenges – dedication, creativity, confidence, desire and responsibility – we believe Debut’s kind of encouragement is important to the future success of our members,” says Kaplan. Debut Players–DTC’s signature troupe is one of only three professional troupe structured children’s theatre arts companies found between California and Minnesota. By audition, Debut Players is up to 18 talented young people between the ages of 10 and 17. Recent productions include: East of the Sun West of the Moon, Sarah, Plain & Tall, The Phantom Tollbooth, A Little Princess, Emil & the Detectives, and the acclaimed live radio theatre performances – Vintage Hitchcock & It’s a Wonderful Life. FUN & FIT




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greeley district 6 news Educators honored as outstanding teachers

Two Greeley-Evans School District 6 educators have been honored by the Colorado Association of Career and Technical Education as outstanding teachers. Lauren Appelhans, a family and consumer studies teacher at Greeley Central High School, was named the Colorado CTE Teacher of the Year. This award recognizes the finest career and technical education teachers, their extraordinary contributions to the field of CTE, programs that exemplify the highest standards, and activities that promote and expand career and technical education at the secondary school level across the state.   Chelsea Bernard, also a family and consumer studies teacher at Northridge High School, is the Colorado CTE New Teacher of the Year. Recipients of the CTE New Teacher of the Year Award are in their first three to five years of teaching. They are recognized for their contributions to career and technical education and student learning within their CTE pathway.  Both educators were honored by the District 6 Board of Education at its regular meeting Monday, August 23.  “This is really quite an honor for both of them,” says Dr. Deirdre Pilch, superintendent of schools for District 6.  Both Appelhans and Bernard are 24


excited they are teaching in District 6. “It is a huge honor to work for the Greeley school district,” Bernard told the Board of Education. “I feel like I get to teach my students things that will serve them for the rest of their lives.” NORTHRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL EARNS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD Northridge High School, STEM Academy was one of two academies nationwide to be awarded the Sanford I. Weill Award for Excellence at NAF Next 2021 annual conference this summer, held virtually. Mr. Weill is the Chairman and Founder of NAF and is a renowned global philanthropist. NAF is a national network of education, business, and community leaders who work together to ensure high school students are college, career and future ready. This prestigious award recognizes a select number of NAF academies exhibiting the highest standards for public-private partnerships for the benefit of students. This honor was established in 2013 on the occasion of Mr. Weill’s 80th birthday and is awarded annually. Northridge High School, STEM Academy has been part of NAF for

nearly a decade and in 2018, combined into one STEM Academy—housing Engineering, IT, Mathematics, and the Sciences. This expansion allowed the high school to accommodate hundreds more students and promote equity in connecting to additional career pathways. Former City of Greeley Mayor Tom Norton currently serves as the academy’s Advisory Board Chair and has worked with members to amplify the schools’ work in the community— including facilitation mock interviews, securing guest speakers, and recruiting for internships in the fields of engineering, architecture, IT, and through city positions. Northridge High School STEM Academy has also reached Katherine Blasik Distinguished level for the last two years—NAF’s highest level of achievement. Hialeah Gardens High School, Academy of Health Sciences, in Hialeah Gardens, FL also received this esteemed recognition. GREELEY-EVANS DISTRICT 6 AWARDED THE SUCCEEDS PRIZE Colorado Succeeds announced that Greeley-Evans School District 6 is one of 6 winners of The Succeeds Prize, the most prestigious award for Colorado educators. Winners have been selected for their exemplary programs that develop agile learners and prepare students to thrive in an ever changing world.  The Succeeds Prize is a collaboration between Colorado Succeeds, 9NEWS, and the business community that seeks to recognize, and invest in, educators who are reimagining education to prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist, tools not yet created, and problems not yet identified. By amplifying these educators, the prize allows students and families across Colorado to benefit from their experience, insight, and lessons learned. 

The Success Foundation Serving Greeley-Evans Schools specifically nominated District 6 for work being done related to career and college readiness programming and personalized learning. “We get to see success stories every day and felt District 6 should be recognized statewide for the incredible work they are doing for our students and community,” says Julie Hill, Executive Director of The Success Foundation.  Winners embody Colorado Succeeds’ Vision 2030 Framework outlining the education principles, experiences, and transferable competencies students will need to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. They represent a range of forward-thinking education solutions for students preK12 that meet workforce demands, utilize innovative learning models, promote student agency, and prioritize the needs of students furthest from opportunity.   The goal of Greeley-Evans School District 6 is to provide a personalized learning experience so that all students graduate on time and are career and

college ready. “We have and will continue to be very strategic and intentional about how we are preparing our students for their futures,” says Dr. Deirdre Pilch, District 6 Superintendent. “We are

honored to receive this prestigious award and look forward to sharing the successes we are experiencing through an equitable, personalized, and applicable approach to learning.”


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poudre school district news Bamford Elementary’s ribbon-cutting ceremony

Poudre School District opened Bamford Elementary School, PSD’s first new school in 13 years, for students’ first day of school on Monday, Aug. 16. Dozens of new Bamford students and families, community leaders and district staff gathered on to cut the ribbon and celebrate Bamford’s grand opening. “Bamford was built during COVID and has to be strong. Wolves are strong,” says Ashton Hochhalter, a fifth-grader at Bamford. “We know that as Bamford Wolves we will be able to stay strong, push through and do hard things. This year at Bamford Elementary is going to be AMAZING!” Bamford is located at 6055 Travers Stakes St. in Loveland. Bamford opened with about 275 students enrolled in grades Pre-K-5; it can eventually serve 600. Bamford is named after Gary Bamford, who was a PSD leader for many years. He served as principal at Boltz Middle School in 1986 before moving into the role of executive director of personnel in 1989. Bamford then opened Preston Middle School as principal in 1993, worked as an 26


assistant superintendent of secondary schools, and briefly served as interim superintendent of PSD in 2004 before retiring. Bamford Elementary will carry on his legacy through strong relationships, positive climate and culture, a love for learning, and humility. As a tribute, his desk was refurbished and installed in the school’s media center so that every student can connect with their school’s namesake. Bamford is one of three new PSD schools that is funded by the 2016 bond. Project details are available on the Bamford bond webpage.

“Every single person—from classroom teachers, custodians, administrators, and support staff— is laser-focused on creating an amazing school for our kiddos,” says Alissa Poduska, principal of Bamford Elementary. “We have intentionally worked (together) on establishing a climate and culture that fosters collaboration, respect, admiration for each other, high expectations with support and love, and lots of laughter and fun.” Another piece of excitement for the team is seeing the planning work since 2019 come to life. From architecture, interior design, and signage around the building, Poduska has been a part of the process from the beginning. That is rewarding, she says. “It reminds me of how lucky I am to be the principal of this incredible school.” Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Traci Gile echoes, “Opening Bamford Elementary begins a legacy for an entire group of children in PSD. Through a collaborative design process with many stakeholders, Bamford was built to be a futureforward learning environment where student agency will be at the center.” Gile is thrilled that Bamford Elementary will join PSD’s team of excellent elementary schools.

NEW ATHLETE OF THE MONTH SERIES FEATURES TEAM LEADERS Each month during the 2021-22 school year, a Poudre School District high school student athlete will be highlighted in a new “PSD Athlete of the Month” series. Featured student athletes are nominated by their coach or school athletic director based on their leadership on their team or in the classroom. Athletes of the month can be found on PSD Twitter or PSD Facebook.   In addition to athlete features on social, PSD TV will highlight middle and high school athletics in special videos throughout the year. Check it out on PSD TV YouTube!  Ella Johns, a Fort Collins High School student and cross country runner, has been selected as the PSD female athlete of the month. Johns pushes herself competing at track and cross country meets and has been successful at winning several events. Last fall, she finished ninth at the state

cross country meet, as the top local finisher with a time of 18:40.4.   FCHS cross country coach Tom Ruthven says, “She not only leads by her hard work, but she inspires her teammates to work hard as well. Even while breathless, finishing her own intervals, she will focus on her teammates— cheering them on.” 

HEALTH AND WELLNESS Find resources for Mental Health, Health and Wellness and more through Student Services. Access Student Health programs and services and keep up with Colorado’s required immunizations. For the latest on COVID-19 protocols, visit the PSD 2021-22 Health and Safety webpage.


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thompson school district news Bernie Knittel finds her purpose

As Dr. Bernadine Knittel reflects on the many years she has spent as a school counselor at Thompson Valley High, it’s clear she is just as committed to supporting students now as she was over two decades ago when she started. “These students, I’m honored to be a part of their story and their journey through high school,” explains Bernie, as she is known throughout Thompson School District. “It’s tough to get through high school. A lot of them are dealing with a lot, even outside of school. When people ask me how my kids are, I ask, ‘which ones?’” Bernie’s journey to becoming Dr. Knittel began years ago, when as a young child she loved playing school and teaching her younger cousins. Though neither of her parents had gone to college, they were adamant that their children would have degrees. “Education has always been stressed to me. I was the first one on both sides of my family to actually graduate (from college). It was always instilled in me as a young person that education was important.” Bernie took the support and encouragement from her parents and ran with it, starting with an associate’s degree, then earning a bachelor’s degree in business. After teaching for three 28


years, she was accepted to a master’s program in counseling, and from there, she knew she wouldn’t stop until she also had a PhD. “Getting a PhD was my goal. I wanted to earn that degree to open up other opportunities, like teaching at the collegiate level, and expanding my knowledge and skill set,” she explains. It took seven years to get her doctorate, working full-time as a counselor at TVHS the whole time. Today, Bernie teaches several classes as an adjunct professor at the University of Northern Colorado, but she has never lost her passion for counseling high school students at Thompson Valley. “By nature, I’m a pretty loyal person. Once I’m set, I’m set,” Bernie

says. “You start building relationships with families. Just being in this area for 27 years, I now have the children of people I taught back in high school. It becomes your family. This is my second home.” Bernie’s love for TVHS is evident as she describes the uniqueness of the school and its students and staff. “I think we have a really diverse population in terms of interests. Our boundaries extend all the way up to the foothills. We pull from a pretty big area. There’s a lot of staff here that also went to school here, several faculty who have a connection to TV.” As she begins her 22nd year at the school, Dr. Knittel reflects on the many changes she has seen, and she is candid as she talks about the challenges facing students in our schools today. “The biggest challenge right now is navigating everything happening in our world right now: The pandemic, the political tension, back-and-forth transitioning.” She also points to social media and the internet as both a blessing and a curse that today’s students face on their journey through high school. “They are bombarded by social media, and it’s not all negative, but I don’t think we had any idea how this was going to impact them. They might be socializing, but in a different way,” she says. “We try, as a system, to put

some restraints on it, but if we don’t come together collectively, school, family and community, I’m not sure how we are going to win that one. It’s a systemic issue.” Still, she is up for the challenge, and her pride in her students is evident in the pictures of them that fill the walls of her counseling office at TVHS. She lives in Greeley, and though it’s very clear talking to her how devoted she is to supporting her students, she also believes in taking time for herself, her husband, and her grown children. She enjoys camping with her husband and their two rottweilers in their camper, as well as regularly doing CrossFit. “You have to practice self-care. As counselors, we’re the caretakers, but we need to take care of ourselves if we’re going to take care of others. Our work’s important, but so is our family life. That’s so important in the helping professions.” As she nears a point where she could retire from working in the

school district and pursue other career goals, for Bernie, the sky is the limit when it comes to what comes next. “I think everybody just needs to have that next goal. It’s part of what keeps

you going,” she explains. “My dad is 77, and he still works. I say to him, Dad, why don’t you retire? He says, ‘I need to have purpose.’ We’re always reaching for that next purpose.”


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EVENTS CALENDAR Please check websites for the status of the following events as cancelations or postponements may have been announced after our publication date.


TUESDAYS Dad’s Cafe The Matthews House hosts this weekly online meeting for dads to connect with other dads from the community to discuss protective parenting factors. Zoom meeting: THROUGH NOVEMBER 12 Loveland Sculpture Quest Free, family-friendly self-guided scavenger hunt to explore Loveland’s outdoor public art and win prizes. All ages. Five LV locations: Benson Sculpture Garden, Benson Sculpture Garden at North Lake Park, Civic Center & Downtown LV, McWhinney-Hahn Sculpture Park, and Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra. sculpture-quest.



SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2 Greeley Community Celebration Celebrate the Balsam Sports Complex Phase I revisions and the new East Greeley Natural Area with food, live music, outdoor activities, mobile recreation, create artwork, and complete a scavenger hunt for prizes. Ribbon cutting at Discovery Bay Waterpark, 714 E. 24th St., GR. 3–6pm. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9 Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off Free, ticketed event to see truly staggering entries in this 13th-annual officially sanctioned contest. All ages. Fort Collins Nursery, 2121 E. Mulberry, FC. 10am–3pm. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10 Teen Self Care Fair Explore new ways to practice self-care, including yoga, art, music, healthy eating and more. Also enjoy music, therapy dogs, community resource booths, free food, and giveaways. Parent sessions added this year: Question Persuade Refer, Inclusivity the ABCs of LGBTQ , Changing Minds & the impact of drugs on the developing brain, more. Ages 13–18 plus parent sessions. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, 408 Mason Ct., FC. 11am– 3pm.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16 Get Up to Get Out, Gear Swap Peruse local’s tables as they sell/trade gently used outdoor equipment. Get the gear to get out in the outdoors at great prices or trade. Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 10am–1pm. OCTOBER 16 & 17 Great Colorado Air Show Features flight shows performed by professional and civilian pilots, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels plus static ground displays, concessions, souvenir booths and exhibitors. All ages. Tickets online only. Northern Colorado Regional Airport, Earhart Road, LV. 9am–4:30pm.


THROUGH OCTOBER 31 TeenTober Games, Poetry, Art & Scary Movie Weeks Explore fun and interesting activities with a new topic each week of October. Play games, make art, read/write poetry, watch scary movies–and an escape room! Check your nearest High Plains Library District branch for details. Ages: teens.


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Story Stroll: Walk With Me Interactive self-guided story stroll experience featuring “Walk With Me” by Margaret Wise Brown. Each stop on the path features another portion of the story. All ages. Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus, FC. Weekdays 8am–7pm; weekends 9am–4pm. SECOND TUESDAYS We Are Board Hang out and play board games with your friends. Bring your favorite game or select from the library’s collection. Snacks provided! Ages 12–19. Farr Regional Library, 1939 61st Ave., GR. 4–6pm. Loteria Mexicana for Teens Play this traditional board game similar to Bingo, practice your Spanish, and win prizes! Ages 11–17. Loveland Public Library, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 4:30–5:30pm. SATURDAYS Family Fun Saturdays Fun STEM projects and activities for the family every week. Lincoln Park Library, 1012 11th St., GR. 2–4pm. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9 Teen Maker Drop-In Explore the Teen Hangout space and maker equipment, technology and tools. Teens 11-17 or going into grade 6. Loveland Public Library, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 2–4pm. MONDAY, OCTOBER 11 PAWS to Read Register for a visit with a licensed therapy dog. Therapy dogs sit calmly while children read aloud to them, allowing children to become more relaxed and confident about reading. Registration required. Centennial Park Library 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 6:30–7:30pm. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13 Kids Crafterschool: Halloween Wire Tree Sculpture After-school creative fun with supplies provided. Registration required. Grades 3–8. Farr Regional Library, 1939 61st Ave. GR. 3:30–4:30pm.



PAWS to Read A licensed therapy dog sits calmly while children read aloud to them, allowing children to become more relaxed and confident about reading. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., GR. 4–5pm. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14 Let’s Draw Monsters Virtual Program Cartoonist Rick Stromoski will take you step by step in drawing monsters just in time for Halloween. Beginning October 1, pick up Kids’ Craft Kit at the Children’s desk including new colored pencils/paper, while supplies last.. Grades 2–5. Loveland Public Library Zoom, meeting ID 846 2958 0360, passcode 068044. 2–4pm. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15 Mini Chefs en el Día de Muertos / Mini Chefs on Day of the Dead Join Soleil Jacquez from Slow Denver in this virtual class in Spanish/English to learn to prepare a simple authentic dish for the Día de Muertos altar. Registration required to receive Zoom link and ingredients list. Ages 5–13. PRPLD Zoom meeting. 11am–12:30pm. Kids’ Tech Afternoon Come play with some of the library’s robots and technology. Grades K–5 and their families. Loveland Public Library 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 2–3:30pm. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19 Teen Video Game Tournament Monthly rotating video games challenge with group and single player opportunities. Grades 6–12. Loveland Public Library 300 N. Adams Ave., LV.4:30–6pm. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23 Dental Hygiene Presentation Families with children ages 5–13 learn the importance of oral hygiene and will receive handouts and a ‘smile pack’ filled with essentials. Centennial Park Library 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 10:30–11:30am.

OCTOBER 27 THROUGH NOVEMBER 3 Story Stroll: Día de Muertos / Day of the Dead Interactive self-guided story stroll experience featuring “Gustavo, the Shy Ghost” by Mexican artist Flavia Z. Drago. Each stop on the path features another portion of the story. All ages. Old Town Library Park, 201 Peterson, FC. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28 Create ‘n Donate Gather with friends to make something to donate to our community! Examples include handmade blankets and a cat scratching hanger. There is potential for students to complete their community service hours by joining this program. Registration required. All ages. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., Evans. 4–5pm.


MONDAYS AND TUESDAYS The Gardens Read and Seed in English Garden story, movement/song plus natureinspired activity. Ages 2–4 with adult. Registration required. Free/members; $8/ non-member child; $11/ non-member adult (includes gardens/butterfly house.) Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave. FC. 10:15–11am or 11:15am–Noon. SATURDAYS The Gardens Read y Seed en Español ¡Es tiempo de explorar en los Jardines! Garden storytime, movement/song plus a hands-on, nature-inspired activity. Ages 2–4 with adult. Registration required. Free/members; $8/non-member child; $11/ non-member adult (includes gardens/ butterfly house.) Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 10:15–11am or 11:15am–Noon. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2 Skygazing Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes and share their knowledge about the stars, planets, galaxies and more. Registration encouraged. Purchase Daily Entrance Permit. Hermit Park Open Space, 17 Hermit Park Rd., EP (off US-36). 7:30–9:30pm.


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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7 From Shore to Ocean Depths Examine the watery sediments that form Coyote Ridge. Learn how these rocks were deposited, uplifted, eroded, and vegetated to form the present landscape. Moderate 4-mile walk. Ages 12+. Registration required. Coyote Ridge Natural Area, FC.9am–2pm. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8 Skygazing Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes and share their knowledge about the stars, planets, galaxies and more. Registration encouraged. Ramsay-Shockey Open Space, west of LV. 7–9pm. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9 Astronomy & Skygazing: Jupiter & Saturn Brief, family-friendly astronomy activity followed by skygazing with a great look at Jupiter’s 4 major moons and the Saturn’s rings. Telescopes provided. All ages. Registration required. Bobcat Ridge Natural Area, FC. 6:30–8:30pm. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15 Skygazing Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes and share their knowledge about the stars, planets, galaxies and more. Registration required. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, FC. 7–9pm. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30 Skygazing Volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society provide telescopes and share their knowledge about the stars, planets, galaxies and more. Registration encouraged. Ramsay-Shockey Open Space, west of LV. 6:30–8:30pm.




SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS OtterBox Digital Dome Shows Blast off to discovery viewing short films on a gigantic 39-foot diameter dome screen. Shows vary by day: One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure; Dream to Fly; and CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story. $2–4 plus museum admission. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery 408 Mason Ct., FC. THROUGH OCTOBER 31 Loveland Art Studio Tour Preview Exhibition Enjoy the work of artists featured in the 13th annual Loveland Art Studio Tour, a highly competitive juried art show representing a wide variety of media. All ages. Loveland Museum, 503 N. Lincoln Ave, LV. Museum hours. THROUGH NOVEMBER 13 Tony Ortega’s Magia Chicana A survey of painting, prints and sculpture by Denver-based artist, Tony Ortega, exploring the magic of Hispanic culture woven into the tapestry of America. All ages. Loveland Museum, 503 N. Lincoln Ave, LV. Museum hours. How We Hold It—Containing Our Lives Exhibit highlights the beauty, artistry and diversity of vessels and containers from around the world. All ages. Free during First Friday Art Walk. Global Village Museum, 200 W. Mountain Ave., FC. Tuesday–Saturday 11am–5pm. Color and Pattern: The Spirit of West Africa Exhibit showcases beads and textiles from West Africa. All ages. Free during First Friday Art Walk. Global Village Museum, 200 W. Mountain Ave., FC. Tuesday– Saturday 11am–5pm.

THROUGH JANUARY 2 Mental Health: Mind Matters Exhibit Exhibit returns to build greater understanding of the importance of mental health with personal experience videos, hands-on explorations, meaningful conversation guides, more. All ages. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, 408 Mason Ct., FC. WEEKENDS THROUGH JANUARY 9 Forces of Nature Exhibit Through many mediums, regional artists exhibit their interpretation of aweinspiring forces of nature. Art & Heritage Center, 116 5th St., WS. Noon–4pm. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7 Magical Matisse Learn to “draw with scissors” as we learn about the art of Henri Matisse. Grades 1–5. $24/member; $30/non-member. Loveland Museum Beet Education Center 201 E. 5th St, LV. 3:45–5pm. SATURDAYS, OCTOBER 9, NOVEMBER 13, DECEMBER 11 Super Science Saturdays Explore specific kinds of science including horticulture, hydrology and atmospheric science, and how each contribute to sustainability. Ages 6–15. $10. Windsor Art & Heritage Center, 116 5th St., WS. 9–10am. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12 Exotic Contents, Exquisite Containers Learn virtually about perfume bottles and jewelry boxes of Ancient Greece. Register online. $5/Zoom connection Global Village Museum Zoom meeting. 6–7:30pm. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14 Kid + Adult Art Class: Autumn Centerpiece Create a stunning autumn table decoration using silk flowers and accents. Ages 5–12 with an adult. $32/member; $40/nonmember. Loveland Museum Beet Education Center, 201 E. 5th St, LV. 5–6:30pm.


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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15 Tot Art Class Children and their adult helpers will explore a new Eric Carle book and complete fabulous art projects. Ages 3–5 with an adult. $16/member; $20/nonmember. Loveland Museum Beet Education Center, 201 E. 5th St, LV. 10–11:30am. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21 Autumn Leaves Make beautiful fall foliage from watercolor and paper. Grades 1–5. $24/member; $30/non-member. Loveland Museum Beet Education Center, 201 E. 5th St, LV. 3:45– 5pm. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28 Kid + Adult Art Class: Altars and Ofrendas Dia de los Muertos is right around the corner and what better way to learn more about this tradition than making our own altars and ofrendas. Ages 5–12 with an adult. $32/member; $40/non-member. Loveland Museum Beet Education Center, 201 E. 5th St, LV. 5–6:30pm. OCTOBER 28 THROUGH DECEMBER 11 Degrees View large-scale photographs in various forms made by Odette England during and in the aftermath of the Australian bushfires of 2019-2020. All ages. CSU’s Hatton Gallery, Visual Arts Building, 551 W. Pitkin, FC. Opening: October 28, 4:30–7p.m. Otherwise M–F 10am–4:30pm.


THROUGH NOVEMBER 14 Footloose Footloose celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people while guiding them with a warm heart and open mind.. All ages. Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, 4747 Marketplace Dr., Johnstown. Times vary. 970-744-3747



SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2 Timber Dan Toy Show & Sale View thousands of antique, vintage and collectible toys on display and for sale including farm toys, die-cast racing, Star Wars and Star Trek, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Tonka, dolls and more. $5 (kids 12 and under free). The Ranch Event Complex, LV. 9am–3pm.

WEEKENDS, OCTOBER 8 THROUGH 23 Dracula Debut Theatre Company resurrects the undead of Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula in this family-friendly performance just in time for Halloween. Ages 6+. Masks required for all. $10. Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. Dates/times vary. 970-221-6730

Face Vocal Band Enjoy the all-vocal rock stylings of this exceptionally talented group of guys. $38. Rialto Theater, 228 E. 4th St., LV. 7:30pm.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9 Garden Concert Series: Sherefe Last event in this outdoor concert series. Seating limited to 100 people. Various FC locations. Times/ticket prices vary.

OCTOBER 2 & 10 Fort Collins Symphony: Reflections–The Emotions of Music The FSC will guide you through a range of emotions that include passion, contemplation and hope. In-person, livestream and webcast tickets available. $10–60. Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., FC. Oct.2, 7:30pm live, Oct. 10, 2pm webcast. 970-221-6730, OCTOBER 4, 5, 6 ABBAFAB Stunning tribute to the music of ABBA and music produced in the ‘70s and ‘80s including monster hits such as Waterloo, Fernando, Honey Honey, Dancing Queen and more. All ages. $62.95/ person, includes dinner. Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, 4747 Marketplace Dr. Johnstown. Times vary. 970-744-3747 TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5 The Price is Right Live Interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to play classic games made famous by the iconic network TV show. Contestants can win cash, appliances, epic vacations and, of course, a brand-new car! $39, $49,$ 75. The Ranch Event Complex, LV. 7pm. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8 Amy Grant Enjoy a voice that’s instantly recognizable in both the Christian and pop worlds. Monfort Concert Hall, GR. 7:30pm. 970-356-5000

OCTOBER 11 & 12 Funky Business Fiery, energetic party band from Northern Colorado featuring a variety of classic funk, spirited soul and contemporary pop covers. All ages. $49.95/person, includes dinner. Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, 4747 Marketplace Dr., Johnstown. Times vary. 970-744-3747 OCTOBER 25, 26, 27 The Long Run “Colorado’s Tribute To The Eagles” Professional Colorado-based musicians dedicated to the faithful reproduction of the music of America’s most iconic band, The Eagles. All ages. $54.95/ person, includes dinner. Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, 4747 Marketplace Dr., Johnstown. Times vary. 970-744-374 WEEKENDS, OCTOBER 22 THROUGH 31 Cinderalla Loveland Opera Theatre brings a bubbly and lighthearted version of the familiar fairytale to the stage. Kids encouraged to wear favorite character costumes at Saturday matinees $40/adult, $37/senior, $30/student, $20/children 12 & under. Rialto Theater, 228 E. 4th St., LV. Times vary.


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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23 The Burroughs with the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra Steeped in classic soul standards and outfitted with modern flair, this nine-piece band offers powerhouse sound. Streaming available. $25–$37. Monfort Concert Hall, GR. 7:30pm. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30 Flobots Alternative hip-hop band from Denver who are on a mission to use their music as a tool to create community, conversation, and ignite the activist in all of us. Streaming available. Monfort Concert Hall, GR. 7:30pm.


MOST SATURDAYS Kids Nite Out Windsor Kid’s Nite Out (KNO) Across America provides games and activities such as swimming, dancing to a DJ, sports tournaments, arts and crafts, and more! Nationally background-checked, attentive, and energetic staff monitor all areas. Ages 7–14. $15/person; dinner vouchers, +$7. Windsor Community Recreation Center 250 N. 11th St., WS. 7–10:30pm. Kids Nite Out Loveland Kid’s Nite Out (KNO) Across America provides games and activities such as swimming, dancing to a DJ, sports tournaments, arts and crafts, and more! Nationally background-checked, attentive, and energetic staff monitor all areas. Ages 7–14. $15/person; dinner vouchers, +$7. Chilson Recreation Center, 700 E. 4th St., LV. 7–10:30pm. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9 Mustang Music 5K & Kids Reverse Parade/Fun Run Chip-timed 5K or Fun Run for young children/non-runners to walk/run 1 mile (4 laps) around track. Both events feature music by the Kinard, FCHS and FRHS bands. Proceeds support Kinard Band. $15–25. Kinard Middle School, 3002 E. Trilby Rd., FC. 8:30am. https:// MustangMusic5K. Hike Through the Ages Experts in geology, ecology and history show how Soapstone Prairie was formed,



the creatures that keep it functioning, and its homesteading and ranching history. 6–7 miles; strenuous, off-trail hike. Age 12+. Registration required. Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, south parking lot, 22998 Rawhide Flats Rd., Wellington. Noon– 1pm. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10 Windsor Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & 5K Paved trails, road, single track dirt trails and some golf cart paths as you run through Windsor, along the Poudre River Trail and with views of Longs Peak. Supports Realities For Children nonprofit. $150/120/75/45. The Island at Pelican Lakes, Water Valley , WS. OCTOBER 13, 20, 23, 30 Wellness Walks Join Volunteer Naturalists for an easy, one mile, slow walk along the Poudre River. All ages. Registration required. Meet at entrance to Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, 408 Mason Ct., FC. Noon– 1pm. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16 Friend Day 5K Run/Walk Pet- and stroller-friendly event on mostly paved surfaces. $15/20. Front Range Baptist Church, 625 E Harmony Rd.., FC. 9–10:30am. friend-day-5k.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24 Colorado Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & 5k This Boston Marathon qualifying marathon starts in the Poudre Canyon while other races are held in Fort Collins Enjoy a finish line expo with post-race party and beer garden with live music. Locations vary, FC. Narrowleaf Lake Run Family fun event with three distance options (4, 7 or 10 miles) on perfectly paved walkways with about a half mile being off road on the south loop. $25–55. Boyd Lake State Park, 3720 NCR 11C, LV. 8–11:30am. https:// SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30 Run Fur Fun Spooktacular 5k Spooky 5k race to benefit the animals of Animal Friends Alliance. Costume contests, race prizes, sponsor booths and post-race beer and pancake. $45. New Belgium Brewing, 500 Linden St., FC. 10am–Noon. www.savinganimalstoday. org/calendar/special-events/run-fur-fun.

Animal Friends Alliance



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Text BPTInfo to 50155 or visit to learn more. RMPARENT

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HALLOWEEN & FALL FESTIVITIES THROUGH OCTOBER 31 Bartels Farm Pumpkin Patch Punkin chunkin, farm animals, kids’ mini straw maze, hay rides, corn maze plus seasonal decorations and pumpkins! All ages. The Bartels Farm, 3424 E. Douglas Rd., FC. 10am–6pm. 493-3853 Fall Days at Fritzler Farm Park Pumpkin patch, corn maze (haunted at night), and many fun family attractions. All ages. Fritzler Farm, 20861 CR 33, LaSalle. Hours vary. Osborn Farm Pumpkin Patch Field of pumpkins, barrel train, hay rides, seasonal décor. All ages. Osborn Farm, 1230 S Boise Ave., LV. 10am–6pm weather permitting.

WEEKENDS, OCTOBER 15 THROUGH 31 Harrington’s HAAunted House Theatre experience meets a time escape meets a haunted house. Kid friendly day: Oct. 31, 11am-3pm, $5. All other days: $12/ages 11 and under, $15/ages 12+. Promenade Shops at Centerra, 5971 Sky Pond Dr., LV. 6–11pm. 970-568-8370, SATURDAYS, OCTOBER 16, 23, 30 Twilight Tour of Lakeview Cemetery Guided by lantern light, discover the exciting, unusual, and often scandalous stories from the early Windsor pioneers who are buried in the cemetery. Ages 8+. $5. Registration required. Lakeview Cemetery, 32815 Highway 257, WS. 4–5pm or 5:30–6:30pm or 7–8pm.

Something from the Farm Pumpkin Patch Pumpkins, hayride and bale maze, Corn Cannon, and Pumpkin Trebuchet (operates only on weekends). Something from the Farm, 8020 S. Timberline Rd. FC. Monday–Saturday 9am–6pm Sunday 10am–6pm. 282-1135

OCTOBER 21 THROUGH 24 Pumpkins on Parade Celebrate Halloween and the harvest with a community pumpkin carving contest and hundreds of pumpkins and gourds arranged in artistic displays. All ages. Kids under 12 receive a candy-free goodie bag. Costumes encouraged. $10/adult or child 12+, $5/child age 5–11, Free/child 4 and under. Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 6–9pm.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10 Pumpkin Harvest NoCo Market Sasonal pop-up market featuring 20+ artisans, pumpkin patch, caramel apples, cider, hay rides and maze, pumpkin catapult and corn cannon. 8020 S Timberline Rd., FC. 1–5pm. events/1187819508380681.

OCTOBER 22, 23, 24 Treatsylvania Back for its 31st year! Enjoy the Not-SoSpooky Barn, photo opps, trick or treating, and hayrides. Tickets available starting October 6. Ages 10 and under. Farm at Lee Martinez Park, 600 N. Sherwood St., FC. Times vary each day.

OCTOBER 12 THROUGH 16 Ghost Tales Historic Rialto Tour Over 100 years of history has given the Rialto many colorful and chilling stories to share. Rialto Theater, 228 E. 4th St., LV. Times vary.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23 Downtown Loveland Pumpkin Festival Free event with farmers market pumpkins, pumpkin sculptures, food vendors and more. Buy $12 ticket for time slot to decorate a pumpkin with a Loveland artist. Foundry Plaza, 1st to 3rd Streets, Downtown LV. Noon–5pm. www.



FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29 Halloween Eye Ball Costume ball and fundraiser for the Ensight Skills Center to raise funds and public awareness for low vision services. Pop-up Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, 125 S. College Ave., FC. 6:30–10pm. Trick or Treat Street All outdoor trick or treat event with 40+ businesses, booths, prizes, treats, some trunk-or-treat cars and more. Downtown Greeley Plazas, 8th and 9th Street, GR. 4–6pm. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30 Drive-thru Trick-or-Treating A socially safe Halloween event where families will slowly drive through a long series of scenes decorated by local businesses, schools and nonprofits to trick or treat. $5/vehicle supports Thompson Education Foundation. Thompson School District Admin Building, LV. 10am– 2:30pm. Halloween Carnival Trick or treating, spooky storytelling, games, giveaways and crafts. Wear your costume and bring your candy bucket. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Free. Windsor History Museum at Boardwalk Park, 100 N. 5th St., WS. 1–4pm. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31 Spooktacular Halloween Free spooky afternoon of games, giveaways, vendors, crafts and candy! All ages. Rock Bottom Brewery lawn, The Promenade Shops at Centerra, LV. Noon– 3pm. www.thepromenadeshopsatcenterra. com/events.

visit rmparent magazine online for: community news healthy living family activities events calendar


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There is a new

tutoring company in town It’s not your average tutoring company


e are not a corporation, not a franchise and not a ‘dotcom’,” explains John R., owner of Apex Tutors Colorado. “We are a family owned and operated business dedicated to helping children maximize their potential.” The Apex business model is simple: provide the highest quality tutoring experience available—at the most affordable rates—to grant families access to the help their children need. They are so committed to their customers that they offer an industry best satisfaction guarantee: if you are not satisfied with the results after 30 days, they refund your money. Apex was founded in California in 2020, at the height of the pandemic. John S., the founder, was running a successful swim school (Sailfish Swim School) when COVID mandates forced him to close his doors. As the schools stayed closed in California, he watched his swim kids start to fall behind in academics. From there, Apex Tutors was born. Apex opened its second branch in Fort Collins in the Spring of 2021. John S. has a passion for helping kids that was developed through his own life experiences. John S. spent his high school years in a wheelchair. At 16, he was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis and sustained permanent spinal cord damage leaving him a paraplegic. After years of therapy, experimental medications and a spinal implant, he is now fully recovered. John’s biggest takeaway from this experience was the support he received along the way from family, friends and so many others who supported him. His



father, for example, carried him into the woods so that he could continue to hunt and fish. His swim teammates held him up on the swim platform to enable him to dive at the start of a race (the officials modified the rules to allow it). Since that time, he has had a desire to give other children—both disabled and able-bodied—the ability to get the same support that he received. “I want the children that come through our program to be nurtured into realizing their full potential. Everyone deserves the level of support that I received, regardless of the struggles they face in life,” said John S. “Apex Tutors is determined to give every student the ‘Apex Advantage’,” says Alisha, the General Manager of Apex. The Apex Advantage encourages students to think beyond grades by building a strong connection through teamwork. Apex Tutors employs an entire team—guardians, teachers, administrators, and tutors—to ensure success in every facet of a student’s life. Apex’s tutors are hand-picked from

the local community and undergo a rigorous training program so that all tutors perform to the Apex Standards of Quality. Students are matched with tutors carefully, taking personality and connection into consideration, therefore, the student’s first session is always free. Apex strives to create confident, active, and independent learners at any age, in any discipline. Once a match is made, Apex believes that having fun is the best way to learn. Apex students feel fulfilled and appreciated for their hard work while receiving an education as unique as they are. Give your student the Apex Advantage. Contact Apex Tutors at www. or 970-541-3785 to set up your complementary first consultation today.

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time out Finding self-discipline Homework is hard for everyone



y daughter is in fifth grade this year and we’re experiencing homework for the first time. And it’s a hard experience. Some of the hardness is academic. She was in pod school virtually last year when academics were a little light in some ways. Recently she brought home some math homework that included multiplying fractions; a concept she not only didn’t remember learning last year but one I also don’t remember how to do. Some of the hardness comes from the responsibility. She’s not used to having a routine that includes academic commitments. This is the first year she’s had homework every day and she’s giving a lot of push back. She’s constantly trying to negotiate her way out of it; she tries whining “forgetting,” refusing, bargaining, and even bribing. Maybe the problem—or part of it—comes simply from laziness. She’s not a lazy kid in a general sense, but who wouldn’t want to play Roblox or jump on the trampoline over doing reading comprehension and math worksheets? In some ways I feel like I’m back in the days of the chore chart: adding a sticker to each day when expectations and/or goals are met and then earning some coveted reward after enough stickers are earned. And, if I’m honest with myself, those parenting skills are rusty. The past few years have evolved into ever-increasing independence and lessons about self-sustainability, and it feels somewhat unnatural to take the lead in this way again. I find I spend more time talking about how homework responsibilities are preparation for the workplace. Many professional jobs allow us to complete work the way we choose and prefer as long as we meet set expectations and timelines. And while that’s true, she thinks it’s lame. Whether or 46


not it’s lame, it is pretty unrelatable… a professional job is so far away I might as well be talking about retirement planning with her. When all is said and done, the root issue is the same as it is with pretty much every conversation I’m having with her lately: self-discipline. Meeting the expectations of others can be difficult or easy, but it’s required to some extent. Most of us prefer to have power over the systems we use to do the work

and we don’t want to be micromanaged. But to have that control, we usually need to first prove we can do so successfully. At least mostly successfully. How do I teach an 11-year-old how to do this when many grown adults struggle? Here we are: one day we’re telling ourselves the easier days are ahead of us and the next we’re telling ourselves it’s only going to get harder. In the meantime, I’m Googling how to divide fractions.


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Profile for RM Publishing

RM Parent | October 2021  

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