A Real Life Fairy Tale Princess
Two Book Series To Brighten—And Enlighten Your Child For The Holidays
If Not You, Then Who? is the critically acclaimed book series co-authored by David and Emberli Pridham that introduces children to the magical world of invention and inventors through the adventures of the Fairley family as they set out to imagine and create their own inventions. In addition to the all-new Christmas book, this STEM book series includes five beautifully illustrated books that launch young readers into a journey of fun and discovery. There’s also a companion website called The Young Inventors Club (theyounginventorsclub.com/) where readers can immerse themselves in a world of creativity. For more information and to purchase, visit: ifnotyoubooks.com.
Emberli Pridham follows up her If Not You, Then Who? books with a book that is perfect for the holidays. Real-Life Fairy Tale: Princess Diana gives children an inspiring and thought-provoking glimpse into the life and contributions of the beloved Princess of Wales, from her youth, to her courtship by Prince Charles and her emergence as one of contemporary history’s most accomplished fighters for social change. Through her work, Princess Diana made a profound difference to the lives of millions by leading with grace, compassion, and empathy. Real-Life Fairy Tale: Princess Diana can be purchased from Areallifefairytale.com and 10% of the proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit Centrepoint, a UK organization that was important to the late-Princess of Wales.
Have a holly,
FrostyFitness SPECIAL SECTION
Enrichment and fun await you this Winter. Find activity and program options for your family in northern Colorado.
ABOUT THE COVER
Cover kid Rowen loves dinosaurs, swimming, going to the park, and his kitty.
Photo shot by Cheri Schonfeld, courtesy of Sky's Open Design. www.skysopendesign.com
‘Tis the season
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR! I guess we could say about any time of year, but we seem to say it about now. We seem to say it like this though: ‘Tis the season. And that begs the question: The season for what?
First the holidays
Well, let’s think of this for moment. I’ll start a list.
‘Tis the season to be thankful for what we have ‘Tis the season to connect with family and friends ‘Tis the season appreciate how much we all have in common even though we have different traditions
‘Tis the season to smile at strangers and say something nice ‘Tis the season to eat lots of tasty food and enjoy the moment ‘Tis the season to reflect about our relationships and our choices
It’s also the season for some tougher things
‘Tis the season to stress ‘Tis the season of short days and long nights
‘Tis the season of loneliness for some ‘Tis the season when family issues boil over ‘Tis the season to gain weight ‘Tis the season of excessive consumerism and consumption
So take a look at Lynn Nichols story on sustainable holidays and building new traditions.
And then winter
From a practical view, when we say: ‘Tis the season. What season? Well, winter…pretty straight forward, right?
So we can look at winter as cold, dark and boring, where we just try to get through it until the tulips start to poke out. We hunker down inside and motivate to face the cold when we have to.
Or we can choose to have fun. We can discover new games and set aside some family time. We can focus on cooking and eating together, maybe visit family a little more. Winter is so nice because, after the holidays of course, the pace seems to slow down from the hectic pace of summer.
In this issue, we’re focused on outdoor winter fun…things we can do to make winter not just bearable, but maybe a time we truly look forward to.
First off, Theresa Baer dives into three of our favorite outdoor diversions: skating, sledding and snowshoeing. The list she has compiled should keep you busy all winter! Then Katie Harris takes a turn at family skiing complete with where to ski, what to know about lessons and ski passes. And finally Lea Hanson raps it all up with some suggestion of fun winter toys that you buy here in northern Colorado.
I hope you have a wonderful season—that your holidays are merry, and your winter is fun.
DECEMBER 2022 • Volume 26, Issue 7
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Theresa Baer, Lea Hanson, Katie Harris Lynn U. Nichols, Claire L. Sable
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Safer, easier holiday travel and gifting
IN ADDITION TO THE USUAL flurry of gift buying, decorating and holiday food prep, according to Tripadvisor, six out of 10 of us will also be travelling over the holidays. To help ensure the trip goes smoothly, consider these travel tips.
WHILE MASK MANDATES have largely been dropped, Covid-19 is always on the move and requirements could change for 2022 holiday travel. Check with your airline and the CDC for up-todate information. To keep little passengers happy, have favorite snacks on-hand, a tablet preloaded with fun games, and a beloved stuffed animal or toy. And of course, confirm that your flight is on schedule.
WHEN IT COMES TO Christmas gifts, making sure the gift is ageappropriate is a good place to start. Pre-school-aged children should not be given gifts that include small pieces (think Monopoly) that they could put in their mouths. Ageappropriate ranges are usually clearly marked on toy packaging.
One of the most important considerations for children’s toys is button batteries, which have caused serious injuries and even deaths. Safe Kids Worldwide is an organization dedicated to childhood safety. Find their
battery safety tip card at safekids.org/ other-resource/button-battery-tip-card.
Another organization to check out is World Against Toys Causing Harm or W.A.T.C.H. – a nonprofit that educates the public on dangerous toys and other products made for children. More information at toysafety.org.
Safe holiday decorating
ONE OF THE THINGS that preoccupies parents of young children is how to keep them safe and the holidays present a few more challenges in that regard.
• The tree— Make sure your tree is anchored in a tree stand. Check your lights to ensure that the cord is free of defects and make sure it’s firmly plugged into the outlet to avoid an electric arc. If you have a natural tree, keep it well hydrated to reduce fire potential.
• Ornaments— If you have a toddler in the house, consider hanging ornaments higher on the tree, out of reach. Or only hang ornaments on the lower part of the tree that are totally child safe. Felt or other ornaments made of fabric, hung on ribbons, not metal hooks, are good options.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME, make sure your vehicle is ready. Check your oil, fluids, tires and fill the tank before hitting the road. Have an emergency kit in the car that includes a first-aid kit, tool kit, flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, a tire inflator and sealant, motor oil, coolant, washer fluid, ice scraper, paper towels, flares, a blanket or two, and enough food and water to tide all vehicle occupants (including pets) over for hours or even a day. And of course, be prepared for winter driving.
• Barriers— If your little one is determined to interact with the tree, ornaments, and presents, surrounding the whole thing with a baby gate might be the best strategy.
• Candles— Holiday candles create a festive ambiance, but according to the National Fire Protection Association, fires caused by candles are responsible for thousands of house fires, annually, and December is the peak month for these fires to occur. For tips, go to nfpa.org/PublicEducation/Fire-causes-and-risks/Topfire-causes/Candles.
Cold winter fun—Skating, sledding and snowshoeing
Local sporting gear retailers offer rentals beginning at $5/child and $10/adult but recommend reservations. Flat terrain is best for beginners, so look to local parks, trails and even golf courses for spaces to explore. For more adventurous and/or higher skill levels…
• Lory State Park
Many trails are open year-round with beautiful views and a variety of difficulty levels. 708 Lodgepole Drive, Bellvue.
• Horsetooth Mountain Open Space
Choose from multiple different trails ranging in difficulty level. 6550 W. CR38E, FC.
• Mineral Spring Gulch
Located in the Poudre Canyon, this 4-mile out-and-back trail is great for beginners mid-winter. 149-211 Crown Point Road, Roosevelt National Forest, Bellvue.
• Little Beaver Creek Trail
Located in the Poudre Canyon, this 2-mile outand-back trail gains 1,500 ft in elevation so best for moderate skill levels. 7311 N. CR 63E, Roosevelt National Forest, Bellvue.
• Rocky Mountain National Park Wild Basin Trailhead and Mini Parks Curve along the Trail Ridge Road main winter closure gate.
We have plenty of ideas for fun outdoor activities in NoCo. Be prepared for cold temperatures, the sun’s reflective rays and falls or collisions with warm coats, hats and gloves, sunscreen and sunglasses, and helmets.
• Dorsey Pond at YMCA of the Rockies (outdoor)
Typically open November–February; 2515 Tunnel Road, EP. www.allestespark.com/winter_recreation/ice_skating.php
• Old Town Square Skate Rink (outdoor)
Synthetic rink with free admission and skate rentals. Hours vary. Old Town Square, FC. https://downtownfortcollins.com/event/ skate-rink
• Edora Pool & Ice Center/EPIC (indoor)
Public skating plus fitness skating, hockey. Days/times vary. 1801 Riverside Avenue, FC. www.fcgov.com/recreation/epic
• Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch (outdoor)
Skating, pond hockey plus snow tube park, cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. 100 Marmot Court, Red Feather Lakes. https://beavermeadows.com/activities/winter
• Greeley Ice Haus (indoor)
900 8th Avenue GR. https://greeleyrec.com/greeley-ice-haus
• Aggie Greens Disk Golf Course
Accommodates multiple families and tall enough to thrill but not worry so much about safety. 2400 S. Overland Trail, FC, across from the drive-in.
• Edora Park Hill on north side of EPIC parking lot accommodates multiple families and is a speedy run but mild enough for young sledders to walk back up. 1420 E. Stuart Street, FC.
• Fossil Creek Park
Several hills for beginner to advanced sledders. 5821 S. Lemay Avenue, FC.
• Nottingham Field
On the west side of the UNC campus, fun for sledders of all ages. 17th Avenue Reservoir Road, GR.
• Kroh Park
Located east of the playground, good for all experience levels. 5200 N. Garfield Avenue, LV.
• Mehaffey Park Hills for all experience levels to spread out. 3285 W. 22nd Street, LV.
Winter recreation gifts
WE DON’T HAVE TO give up outdoor activities just because it is winter. Invest in some fun!
Snow Brick Maker
Get it at JAX Fort Collins
Sure, we can make bricks without a plastic molder, but why would we? This toy makes fort-building more fun than you can imagine. And, if you get one for each family member, you can create a brick-building assembly line. Homemade snow igloos have never been so sturdy and long-lasting!
This item makes brick sized 4.75”h x 9.5”w x 4.75”d and comes in many colors!
Vikings of The Northern Lights Freeze Tag Game
Get it at Clothes Pony and Dandelion Toys in Fort Collins
This is not only a toy but can also be a great prop for dress up! It’s for all ages, so all family members can play together. A new and exciting way to play freeze tag! Two teams compete in this dynamic, group and/or family game. The team that is “it” attempts to restore the glowing gems to the medieval scepter before the other team freeze-tags them all! This is designed to be played in snow or sun, so it can be used all year long!
Airhead Snowball Cannon
Get at Scheels in Johnstown
Anything that makes a snowball fight a little fancier is sure to be a positive addition to your winter recreation stash. This toy is not just for kids and will rekindle older children’s (and adults’) nostalgia for the silly snowball fights of their youth. It not only has a built-in snowball maker devise, but also operates with a slingshot launch. You’ll never lose a snowball fight again!
Gravity Grabber Wall Ski Organizer
Get it at: Scheels in Johnstown Cost: $39.99
Skis are bulky and hard to store. Yet, when stored well, they take up little space. That’s where this device comes in. It’s one, small, and simple to install device per set of skis and your ski storage woes are a thing of the past.
Even better, Gravity Grabber is designed to hold skis AND snowboards. Pinched tips are no more, keeping that natural profile, shape, and design of your skis during storage. Gravity Grabber allows you to choose where your gear is held during storage.
From skateboards to shovels and rakes, Gravity Grabber will hold other things, too, making it the ultimate yearround storage system.
Hit the slopes! Winter ski adventures
WINTER IN COLORADO HAS its bright sides. The sports of skiing and snowboarding can be mastered by kids as young as 3 or 4 and are a great way to get outdoors as a family and enjoy everything winter in Colorado has to offer!
What to know about lessons
Not only are lessons a great way to introduce kids to skiing and riding, but they’re also a great way to get out of playing on the bunny slopes all day and enjoy some real ski time yourself.
Private and group lessons are available at all major resorts in Colorado, often for children as young as preschool-aged and up, and they can be reserved ahead of time online. When booking, be sure to take note of important reservation details, such as where to meet, what personal items to bring, and how early to arrive (especially if you plan on renting equipment.)
Dressing your kids accordingly is key to an enjoyable day at ski school. Layers provide for all day comfort, winter socks and waterproof gloves are essential for keeping extremities warm, and it’s always a good idea to consider ease of undressing to use the restroom for the preschool agers.
Where to go
For a quick, last minute getaway, Eldora can’t be beat. Just outside of Boulder, the resort is small on size but big on conve nience, making it the perfect place for aspiring skiers and riders to get their feet wet. Private and group lessons are available for ages 4 and up and can be made at www.eldora.com.
When it comes to catering to the younger bunch, no one does it better than Keystone. Here, kids ski free with a twonight stay, Kidtopia provides a slew of activities throughout the day, and the World’s Largest Mountaintop Snow Fort awaits your exploration. For info on programs and passes visit www.keystoneresort.com.
Of course we can’t talk skiing in Colorado without men tioning Vail. If you’re looking for an upscale family vacation this is the place for you. One of the largest resorts on the planet, Vail offers something for everyone. Luxury accommo dations, shopping galore, and some of the most immaculately groomed terrain you’ll find await you in Vail (www.vail.com).
One of the most popular options for families planning to get multiple trips in, Epic offers a nice variety of passes at discount prices. Passes are available for ages 5 and up, and the website, www.epicpass.com, allows you to filter your choices by where you’d like to go and number of days you’d like to be on the mountain. (Hint: Registration for the Epic Schoolkids pass, which includes four free days of skiing/ snowboarding at each of five Colorado resorts, will open for the 2023-24 season in spring 2023. Don’t
miss out on this great opportunity for next season!
In the meantime, Colorado Ski Country USA (www. coloradoski.com) offers an unbeatable passport program for 3rd through 6th graders. The program offers four days at each of 20 different ski areas for $59 (blackout dates apply) and registration is currently open on their website.
In addition, most resorts offer multi-day and season passes at a reduced price compared to their daily rates.
Have a holly, sustainablejolly,holidayU Nichols
YOU’VE CUT DOWN ON plastic waste by converting to reusable grocery bags and carrying around a refillable water bottle. How about extending that thoughtfulness to your holiday festivities? If the waste and havoc of the holidays bother you, it’s time to start some new, sustainable traditions. All it takes is a little creativity and a commitment to doing things differently. Here are some fun ways to begin.
1. Skip the fake boughs and head to the woods
Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, and likely the plastic Christmas tree that you’ve noticed in the store was shipped
from a factory overseas, then trucked thousands of miles. According to Sightline Institute, it takes 20 years to break even on your climate impact with a plastic tree versus a fresh one (assuming that you keep the plastic tree for 20 years). A better option—and a more pleasant one—is a real tree, harvested nearby. Even more fun than buying from a local lot is going out to cut your own. Try private growers up Rist Canyon Road (from Laporte, CO) or take a day trip to the national forest near Red Feather Lakes, CO. You will need a permit from the Forest Service first, which will cost between $5 and $20 and can be purchased
Building new traditions
online. Best yet, if you have a fourth or fifth grader, you get a free tree! Don’t forget to recycle your Christmas tree. The cities of Fort Collins, Greeley, and Loveland have free drop-off sites for Christmas tree mulching.
Swap wrapping paper for homemade
What better way to let your kids get creative than putting out a ton of materials—paper grocery bags, old magazines, old maps, fabric, bandanas, leaves, pinecones, twine, markers, tape, glue, etc. —and let them go to town making their own wrapping paper for their gifts? If you love this idea, extend it to the gifts themselves.
3. Sustainable gifts for deep appreciation
Instead of encouraging your daughter to give your son another toy, have her make him his favorite cookies or treat and wrap them up in a box. He can give her a coupon book of favors, like doing her chores for the month of January, or nightly foot or back rubs for a week. Homemade gifts, like knitted scarfs, sock puppets, a lightly loved hand-me-down stuffed animal, or woodcarved figurines carry more meaning because of the personal effort invested. For relatives, consider homemade treats or making a donation to a cause that they care about.
Introduce your kids to other holiday traditions
The holidays are a time of coming together and learning about other cultures is a great way to fuel that sense of unity. The two holidays that coincide with the Christian holiday of Christmas include Kwanzaa and Hannukah.
Kwanzaa, which means “first fruits” in Swahili, will be celebrated for a week from December 26 to January 1. The holiday was created in 1966, and the focus is celebrating the African culture and heritage, and building community with drumming, dancing, and cultural talks. During each of the seven days, a candle is lit to recognize the seven principles of African culture: self-determination, unity, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. The candles are in the African colors of red, black, and green. On the final day, gifts are given and received. If you are going to the Parade of Lights in downtown Denver this year on December 6 at 6pm, be sure to notice the Kwanzaa Parade that will take place at the same time, between the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library (2401 Welton Ave.) and the Cleo Parker Robinson Theatre (119 Park Avenue West).
Chanukah (Hannukah) is a Jewish holiday with deep historical roots: in 164 BCE, the Jewish people liberated their Temple from a Greek empire. The holiday is also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights and is celebrated around the world. It will take place December 18 to December 26, and involves candles, gifts, readings, and a game called dreidel. A candle is lit each day on a menorah—a candelabrum with eight branches. Each year, a giant menorah resides in Old Town Square in Fort Collins and is lit during a community celebration. Watch for the upcoming date and time of the lighting event. Traditionally, the lighting is followed by traditional Jewish foods and music.
4. Give experiences rather than plastic toys
Instead of surrounding the tree with dozens of store-bought gifts, select two or three that your kids really want, then give them the gift of an experience, instead. Maybe it’s a dogsled ride, a day skiing or tubing, or a day kicking around a nearby downtown with tasty treats, a spa service, or a fancy meal. Better yet, go for some spontaneous fun by letting
your kids plan a fun day of their dreams.
“Unstructured play is hugely important for brain development,” says Andrea Holt, Marriage and Family Therapist with UCHealth Family Medicine Center in Fort Collins.
To give the holiday extra meaning, volunteer as a family. You could serve meals at a shelter, give treats or crafts to residents of a
nursing home, participate in a church event, or hand out $5 food gift cards to people who are homeless.
“There’s so much learning to be had from tangible life experiences. Volunteering presents many teachable moments about the bigger world,” Holt adds.
Invest in LED holiday lights
Sure, they cost more but you can feel good under their
warm glow knowing that they will last a long time and not end up in the landfill next year. Over time, they will actually save you money on your electric bill. According to a past US Department of Energy study, if every home in the US replaced their conventional string lights with LEDs, the nation would save close to 2 billion kWh of electricity each month. Now, that’s something to get cheery about!
Relissa Stute is an owner and partner in Colorado UltraSlim, Inc., working with Red Light Therapy for over 20 years. Please call 970-412-7575 or visit www.coloradoultraslim.com.
Red Light Therapy (RLT) seems to be the latest buzz word in natural healing. However, RLT goes back hundreds of years and most recently you may have read of NASA using RLT to promote wound healing and plant growth.
RLT can be emitted by lasers or by LEDs. Specific uses are determined by wavelength, modulation and intensity of the light which is why most devices sold for home use do not produce the same long-lasting results as professional devices with higher
power and specific calibrations.
This month the focus is how to lose weight fast with the RLT device patented as UltraSlim. Wherever you are in your weight loss journey this is the first and only non-invasive FDA cleared medical device for immediate fat reduction.
Clinical studies show that UltraSlim’s specific calibration reduces fat and cellulite by producing small holes in fat cells, causing lipids (the molecules inside your fat cells) to drain out. In 32 minutes,
• Collagen and elastin production
• Pain management
• Lose weight fast
• Inflammation reduction
• Breast reduction/tightening
• Healing wounds and injuries
• Improved performance and muscle repair
• Healthier and thicker hair
New trials and studies are continuously being completed. Many articles can be found on PubMedhttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
an average patient will see 3.5 inches/1.6 liters of fat loss and over the next three days will continue another 1.5 inches of fat loss on average. In trials on breast reduction, patients have been known to drop a full cup size with one 8-minute treatment. These people were asked not to change their diet or exercise habits, so the results didn’t come from exercising more or eating healthier.
Ultraslim has also has FDA clearances for pain and inflammation, as well as skin tightening and rejuvenation.
702 West Drake Road | Bldg F, Suite A| Fort Collins, CO 80526 | ColoradoUltraSlim.com
There are many published studies, clinical trials and patents issued for varying conditions using RLT:
Registration is NOW OPEN
District 6 Board of Education appoints new member
physician at Sunrise Community Health for the past eight years, CamposSpitze said during her interview that she is the daughter of immigrants and shares that story with many District 6 families.
member,” Board President Michael Mathews said.
“Brenda is very passionate about serving our community,” said Board member Natalie Mash.
GREELEY RESIDENT AND family physician Brenda Campos-Spitze was appointed to the GreeleyEvans School District 6 Board of Education by a vote of 4-2.
Campos-Spitze will fill a director seat left open by Pepper Mueller, who resigned at the end of September because she was moving out of the district. CamposSpitze will fill the seat until the next election in November of 2023. Board directors Rob Norwood and Taylor Sullivan, who was attending the
meeting virtually, voted against Campos-Spitze’s appointment.
Employed as a family
“Because I share these students’ stories and lived experiences, I believe that my perspective will be invaluable in reaching some of our most marginalized students and their families with the ultimate goal of improving their academic performance, retention, graduation, and ultimately, college admissions rates,” Campos-Spitze wrote in her application for the vacant seat. “I would be honored to partner with these families to continue to empower them to be better advocates for their children and their schools.”
“I think Ms. Brenda Campos-Spitze would make an excellent Board
Campos-Spitze was sworn in as a Board of Education director at a short ceremony Wednesday, November 16. Her first meeting as a director will be December 12, 2022.
Prior to CamposSpitze being appointed, two other candidates were nominated: Araceli Calderon, who ran for the board in 2021, and Scott Rankin, a previous Board of Education director and member of the Mill Levy Oversight Committee. Both nominations failed twice for not receiving a majority of votes.
4A ballot issue to renew Mill Levy Override passes 69-31 percent.
LEGO Train Depot Set, Children’s Tea Pot & Basket, Limited Edition Ornaments, and More!
Gift Shop Hours
Nov. 17 - Dec. 31 | Thurs - Sat, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Greeley History Museum Closed 11/24 & 12/24 - 25
Greeley History Museum 714 8th St., Greeley
At Arts and Imagination we believe in a thoughtfull development of art, academics, and peace education.
Arts and Imagination is a fresh approach to early childhood education. We view children as capable, strong, resilient and overflowing with knowledge, curiosity and potential. We value their thought journey and foster learning through our unique program.
PSD School Choice Application Program Open for 2023-24
IN POUDRE SCHOOL DISTRICT, all schools offer strong academic and social opportunities for students. At our neighborhood schools, your child will live near and go to class with their neighbors, building a tightknit community together over time.
If your family is looking for a specific program or curriculum to best meet your child’s educational needs that isn’t available at your neighborhood school, however, PSD’s K-12 school choice program might be for you. The firstround application period
deadline is 11:59pm (MST), Dec. 15, 2022.
Submitting a school choice application does not guarantee enrollment at any school applied for; acceptance is based on eligibility requirements and space availability.
More information, including instructions on using the new application system and school options, is available on the PSD School Choice Process webpage.
Register for Kindergarten!
Kindergarten is one of the first steps in your student’s educational journey.
Children must be 5 years old on or before Oct. 1, 2023, to be registered for kindergarten in the 2023-24 school year.
Parents/legal guardians must register students entering kindergarten at their designated neighborhood school, even if an application is pending for choice/open enrollment.
The online registration process for the 202324 school year will be available for parents/legal guardians beginning Nov. 28 to register children in any grade, K-12. Inperson kindergarten
registration is available for families at neighborhood elementary schools Dec. 7. Contact your student’s neighborhood school for school hours.
Parents/legal guardians of incoming kindergartners should complete online or in-person registration by Dec. 7, to allow schools to determine their classroom sizes, staffing needs and the number of school choice seats they can offer.
Online registration and in-person registration at schools will still be available for families throughout the rest of the year.
Registration is NOW OPEN
Meet Allison Aue
students master that make her love her job.
“I’ve always loved the idea of post-secondary needs and transition,” Allison says. “Helping them be prepared for having a meaningful adult life has always been more important to me than them passing their biology test.”
Since Allison started working at Community Connections three years ago, the program has grown significantly, doubling in size to almost 40 students. Allison credits the effective program and an extremely strong staff for the growth.
TRANSITION TEACHER, Community Connections; Extended School Year Coordinator; Secondary ILC
At Community Connections, every day is something new working with students with special needs, and for transition teacher Allison Aue, that’s exactly why she loves her career.
“Working with this population, no days are ever the same,” Allison says. “We are just making sure the families feel supported. We get to focus on what they’re good at.”
is a Thompson School District program serving students who have already completed their four years of academic instruction in a TSD high school but could benefit from additional support.
In the state of Colorado, public school education ends for most students when they graduate from high school. But for some students who might need additional support, the state provides funding for districts to educate them through the age of 21.
“We provide transition for when they lose that
regular school day support of the district,” Allison explains. “We are really just here to make sure they are set up for the future.”
Allison says the program is designed to individualize education based on each student’s needs and abilities.
For some this might mean finding a job or managing more complex household tasks. For others it might mean making a simple meal for themselves or learning to be responsible for their belongings. It’s the wide spectrum of tasks that Allison enjoys helping her
“I am very lucky to work with my teaching partners. Our PARAs are also amazing. Everything that happens here is because we work so seam lessly as a team,” Allison says of the three teachers, six paraprofessionals, and ad ministrative staff tasked with working with the Community Connections students.
As Allison sees it, the students in Community Connections have just as much to contribute to their community as the community has to give back to them.
“So many of them have never been seen for what they CAN do,” she says.
“We see them for what they can do, and it gives them a place to fit in. I just want all of these families to feel like their student is the most important one to someone. Someone cares.”
Play, learn and gift to help others
Bountiful Boards supports neighbors in need
Looking to impress dinner guests? Or perhaps you need of a unique gift for friends or family members this holiday season? Look to the Bountiful Boards program with the Food Bank for Larimer County for gifts with a purpose. The Fort Collins Creator Hub has contributed locally made, hand-crafted high quality boards that are perfect for cutting, bread or charcuterie–and sales help feed Larimer County residents in need! Purchases can be made on Sunday, December 4 from 9am until noon at Foothills Unitarian Church at 1815 Yorktown Avenue in Fort Collins.
Greeley low-income water assistance program
With Greeley’s Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program, “households with an income of up to 60 percent of the state median income level may qualify to receive financial assistance for water services.” This new program, offered through the American
Rescue Plan Act, is intended to support households “whose services have been disconnected due to nonpayment or have a past-due amount for their drinking water/wastewater services.”
While the application period is open through April 30, 2023, funds are limited and will be distributed first-come, first-served. To
learn more, visit the city’s utility billing website at https://greeleygov.com/ government/finance/ utility-billing.
Playground and FunPlex renovations in Greeley
The Greeley West Park playground at 2300 42nd Avenue was recently refreshed for a “high-quality, more inclusive” experience. Improvements included expanding the play area with the installation of new larger play equipment such as swings, climbers, slides, and spinners; adding accessible play features for various abilities; and installing sidewalks around the playground with direct access to the parking lot.
The indoor waterpark at Greeley’s Family FunPlex also underwent renovations to include a new underwater theme and play features.
Families can visit 1501 65th Avenue to enjoy a lazy river, zero-depth pool and play structures, massive slides and lap pool.
FESTIVALS & COMMUNITY EVENTS
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17
Wreaths Across America
Sponsor and/or volunteer to remember and honor veterans. Lakeview Cemetery, WS. www.wreathsacrossamerica. org/co0168
DECEMBER 3 AND 4
An Evening with Acoustic Eidolon Rialto Theater, LV. www.rialtotheatercenter.org
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31
New Year’s Eve Extreme Rodeo Challenge
Budweiser Event Center, LV. www.treventscomplex.com
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10
Sweaty Sweater 5k & Kids’ 1-Mile
Runs, contest, post-race party. Foothills Mall, FC. www.frontrangefreeze.com/ sweaty-sweater-race
Toy Drop 5K, 10K, 15K
Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Realities for Children. www.sweetheartcityracing. com/events/toy-drop-5kand-10k
Holiday Hundo Winter Virtual Mileage Challenge
Cover 100 miles per month running/walking/biking. www.frontrangefreeze.com/ holiday-hundo
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31
Evening event where kids, strollers, dog, and walkers welcome. Edora Pool & Ice Center, FC. http:// resolutionrunfc.com
HOLIDAY & SEASONAL EVENTS
THROUGH DECEMBER 18
THROUGH JANUARY 1
THROUGH FEBRUARY 14
SELECT WEEKEND DAYS
THROUGH DECEMBER 24
Photos with Santa The Promenade Shops at Centerra, LV. https://bit.ly/3Oqwa5H
THROUGH SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24
Foothills Photos with Santa
Foothills Mall, FC. www. shopfoothills.com/events/ foothills-photos-with-santa
THROUGH DECEMBER 3
Festival of Trees
Holiday magic supporting the arts. Union Colony Civic Center, GR. www. greeleyfestivaloftrees.com
Family friendly scavenger hunt. Downtown FC. www. downtownfortcollins.com/ event/santas-quest
THROUGH DECEMBER 23
Classic Holiday Movies at the Rialto Rialto Theater, LV. www. rialtotheatercenter.org
THROUGH DECEMBER 24
Santa’s Workshop Old Town Square
Visit with Santa. Old Town Square, FC. www.downtownfortcollins. com/event/santasworkshop
Loveland Winter Wonderlights
Walkable lights display and musical light shows. Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, LV. www.visitlovelandco.org/ winterwonderlights
THROUGH JANUARY 8
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Johnstown. www.coloradocandlelight.com
THROUGH JANUARY 29
Old Town Square Skate Rink
Old Town Square, FC. www.downtownfortcollins. com/event/skate-rink
Fort Collins Downtown Holiday Lights
View thousands of LED lights. Old Town, FC. www. downtownfortcollins.com
Loveland Downtown Festival of Lights
Holiday lights display and light shows. Downtown LV. www.downtownloveland. org/festivaloflights
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1
CSU Marching Band
Parade of Lights Preview Parade
UCA and CSU Trial Gardens, FC. www.fcgov.com/ specialevents/calendar
DECEMBER 1 THROUGH 3
Lighthouse Dance: Nativity
Jesus’ birth story told through ballet, contemporary and hip-hop dance. Rialto Theater, LV. www.rialtotheatercenter.org
DECEMBER 1 THROUGH 31
Realities for Children NightLights
Shine light into the darkness of child abuse. First Presbyterian Church, FC. www.giveanightlight.com
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2
Timnath Holiday Lighting Festival
Old Town, Timnath. www.timnath.org/holidaylighting-festival
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3
Homesteader’s Holiday Historical house tours, holiday crafts, music. Centennial Village Museum, GR. https://greeleygov.com/ greeley-calendar
Windsor Wonderland Santa, tree lighting and more. Boardwalk Community Park, WS.
Improv for a Claus
Multicultural, family-friendly sketch show. Proceeds benefit Feed My Starving Children. Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre, FC. www.lctix.com
SATURDAYS, DECEMBER 3, 10, 17
Breakfast with Santa The Promenade Shops at Centerra, LV. https://bit.ly/3GzZa9f
MONDAY, DECEMBER 5
Annual holiday tour. Rialto Theater, LV. www.rialtotheatercenter.org
DECEMBER 9 THROUGH 11
Canyon Concert Ballet presents with Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra. Lincoln Center Performance Hall, FC. www.lctix.com
Loveland Choral Society: A Very, Merry Christmas Rialto Theater, LV. www.rialtotheatercenter.org
DECEMBER 9 THROUGH 24 Garden of Lights
Gardens on Spring Creek, FC. www.fcgov.com/ gardens/garden-of-lights
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 FOCO Family Band Holiday Market
The Lyric, FC. https:// lyriccinema.com/movie/focofamily-band-holiday-market
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15 Hazel Miller & the Collective Holiday show. Rialto Theater, LV. www.rialtotheatercenter.org
Lindsey Stirling: Snow Waltz Tour
Electronic violin storyteller. Budweiser Event Center, LV. www.treventscomplex.com
DECEMBER 16 THROUGH 17
Night Trains with Santa Colorado Model Railroad Museum, GR. www.cmrm. org/events
A Candlelight Christmas Larimer Chorale presents. First Presbyterian Church, FC. www.lctix.com.
Clara and the Nutcracker Contemporary Dance Academy presents. Lincoln Center Performance Hall, FC. www.lctix.com
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17
Voctave: Spirit of the Season, Deluxe Edition
An a cappella sensation. Monfort Concert Hall, GR. https://ucstars.showare.com
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18
Kickin’ It with my Gnomies
Windsor Just For Kix dance show. Lincoln Center Performance Hall, FC. www.lctix.com
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Lincoln Center Performance Hall, FC. www.lctix.com.
Face Vocal Band
All-vocal rock. Rialto Theater, LV. www.lctix.com
Flirting—Learning to read a room
I SAW A FUNNY MEME the other day that read, “It’s weird to be the same age as old people.” It hit home. I am now at that age and I am well aware that people my age are one way…. And I am another. One big way I feel different from these same-aged old people is that I have not blindly bought in to more conservative ideas simply because I am old. This could be a big conversation, but in this context I’m talking only about parenting. More specifically even, my tolerance of my pre-teen being exposed to “adult” things. She is allowed to watch movies if I know what the content entails and know it will sit well with her. She is allowed to wear all clothes of her choice and I have never thought about the exposure of her midriff. She is not allowed to be directly exposed to alcohol and substances but I speak openly and honestly about them so she is armed with information. To the point people may think she knows more about them than is normal for a 12-year-old. I feel good about it. Great, in fact.
One thing that is newish, however, is the flirtatious development of relationships. She is outgoing as all get out and has many friends of all genders. Boys flirt with her
and she doesn’t seem to know it. It’s a funny thing seeing your kid develop communication skills that cross over into the adult realm of communication. Saying things without words, learning new and different ways to say the same thing, learning to be endearing on purpose, and so forth.
When I point out that kids her age are flirting or ask her if she is flirting with someone else, she is usually disgusted as–obviously—moms knowing about sexuality is nothing short of disgusting and upsetting. Ha. But I think these questions are fair, and
when I ask them, I am also calling attention to social construct that matters and she ought to learn more about as she gets older and learns to manage more complex relationships with more complex people.
Sadly, for girls, being endearing and interesting and friendly is too often mistaken for flirting. And, as a person who is the same age as old people, I feel like I’m in the minority in NOT teaching her to dial these skills down. I won’t teach my daughter that it’s her responsibility to manage whether another person sees her as friendly or flirty. Or interested or needy. I
will teach her to be aware of others’ reactions so she can see the impact of her behavior and words. That’s called reading a room.
I will also help her learn about the diverse human experience to some extent so she can understand that a phrase to one person does not have the same meaning to another. That’s called personal safety… and sometimes de-escalation.
Teaching a kid to read between the lines is a thing we do usually by accident and usually by role modeling. Maybe that’s why my daughter acts like an older lady. Because I am actually old.
Holiday Magic Exp e r i e nce
SANTA’S HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Saturdays & Sundays | November 26th - December 18th Friday, December 23rd & Saturday, December 24th Enjoy free photos with Santa! Please bring your own camera. Located between LensCrafters and See’s Candies.
HAALIDAY WALK EXPERIENCE
December 10th - 11th, 17th & 18th, 21st - 23rd
Harrington Arts Alliance walk-through of holiday classics! Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone and more. $12 - Ages 13 & up | $5 - Ages 6-12 | Free - Ages 5 & under
HOT COCOA WALKS
Fridays | December 2nd, 9th & 16th
Holiday shopping with complimentary hot cocoa! Grab a FREE thermal mug and hot cocoa inside select stores and receive incredible holiday shopping discounts!
Saturdays | December 3rd, 10th & 17th Experience a magical morning with Santa! Pre-purchased tickets are required for this event and can be purchased at the Management Office.
Saturday, November 19th - Sunday, January 1st Chapungu Sculpture Park | Open daily from 5pm - 9pm Enjoy live performances, November 19th, December 3rd & 10th. This event is free & open to the public.
AJ’S CHRISTMAS TREES
Friday, November 11th - Saturday, December 24th Offering the freshest cut trees in Northern Colorado! Varieties include Fraser, Noble, Nordmann, Balsam, Cook and Douglas Fir. Located between Dick’s Sporting Goods and Oakley.