Owensboro Parent - April/May 2023

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April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 5 24 Self-Starter Discover a local teen who owns her own successful small business Contents IN EVERY ISSUE 8 From the Editor 9 Around OBKY 10 Parent Profile KEEPING IT REAL 12 Real Life with Lora Wimsatt What Kids Have to Say About Mother’s Day 14 Hashtag MomFail Henry and Simon take over Jamie Johnson’s column and answer what they would do if they were home alone for an entire day. MAKING IT 16 Recipe Neopolitan Cupcakes 18 Craft Time Egg Carton Flower Craft DISCOVER 54 What Makes Owensboro a Great Hometown for Kids A view from third graders at Estes Elementar 56 The Book Nook Mom’s a Main Character 58 Self-Care for All Ages Discover how self-care can make us aware of our own emotional and physical needs. OUT & ABOUT 64 Events Calendar Our list of fun things to do around town this season! 66 Kids Meal Deals Check out these local kids meal deals! FROM OUR READERS 68 Mommy & Me
submitted to our Facebook page sponsored by Owensboro Health! April // May 2023 22 Difference Makers Three siblings saw a need and decided to use their artistic talents to help. 26 Epic Youth Camp This youth camp introduces kids to skills needed for high-demand trade jobs. 29 2023 Kids Takeover
Kids Takeover
Check out all the winners of our
Ad Design Contest and read stories written and illustrated by kids in our community.




Ashley Wedding


Katie Albers

Sleep in! Maybe watch my favorite show on Netflix. Eat junk food. Then take a nap. Zero responsibility or decision making for the day! :)



Andrea Roberson

Monica Tapp


Jamie Plain

Christina Dalton

Jamie Johnson

Laura Murphy

Katy Tierney

Melody Wallace

Lora Wimsatt

Do you have a story idea? We want to hear from you! Email your suggestion to ashley@tannerpublishing.com



Eat Pizza Hut buffet and make some awesome bicycle ramps to do sweet tricks!

Brock Quinton

Owensboro Parent is a FREE magazine because of community support. Thank you to the great group of businesses and organizations who advertise.

For more information about advertising call 270-297-1600 or email brock@tannerpublishing.com.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend the whole day at a swimming pool and eat as much ice cream as my stomach could handle!


Morgan Hawes

Photo & Illustration by Jamie Plain



Dave Mackey

To add your business or organization to our distribution list, give us a call at 888-304-5416.



facebook.com/owensboroparent instagram @owensboroparentmag twitter.com/owensboroparent


Jason Tanner

PO Box 9503 Owensboro, KY 42302 270-297-1600


I would paint all day without worrying about making a mess, and focus on creativity instead of overthinking technique.

6 OWENSBORO PARENT April // May 2023
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Reed's Top Picks from the editor


These marbles are like our chore system. My mom gives me, Avery and Mason marbles for chores and if we go above and beyond or if we do extra things around the house. We can cash in a full jar of marbles to get a prize or we can save up and cash in five jars for a Yes Day! We are trying to save up for a Yes Day. If we get a Yes Day I will do a LEGO scavenger hunt, get Starbucks, go the movies and get popcorn and candy, and I would let my brother and sister pick the rest of the things so that we all get the same amount of things to do.


I hide these hedgehogs around the house to annoy my mom. She will try to find them and she can’t. If she can’t find them, I give her a hint. One time I tricked her on how many there were. I told her there were four hedgehogs, but there were only three. She was so mad! You should get some hedgehogs and hide them around your house too!


LEGO is fun to build with! But a LEGO scavenger hunt is funner! We build things from around our house. We hide the creations that we make with the items from around the house. We give them a creation that leads them to where the first thing is. They will find a second creation there and then go to the third. This is better than just building because you get to spend time with your family and it's funny when they can't find your creations.



Kentucky Youth Chorale (KYC) is a community wide young singers chorale program for students ages 8 - 16. The current directors are Madison Wells, Pam Howell, and Anna Sparks. Anna Sparks accompanies us on the piano as we sing with Madison and Pam. When Ms. Sparks directs, Jubilee plays the piano for her.

This was my first year as a member of the Kentucky Youth Chorale and I have had a lot of fun. I am learning how to sing properly: precise vowel pronunciation, efficient singing posture, and commanding stage presence. The choir is preparing a selection of spirituals for our spring concert. We would be honored to have the Owensboro community to enjoy our show on April 25, 2023 at Third Baptist Church, Owensboro Kentucky.

Interested in joining KYC? Visit kentuckyyouthchorale.org


Enjoy Mariachi in the Garden on May 25, 2023 from 5 - 9 p.m. at the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden. They are having Real Hacienda with the Mariachi band. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy all these amazing sights and sounds with your family! Bring maracas and a festive spirit on VeinteCinco de Mayo to this fun-filled celebration. Interested in going? Visit wkbg.org

Contributor Spotlight:


They will be having a Mother’s Day picnic boxed lunch on May 14th at the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden. It will be going on from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. While you are eating a boxed lunch, you are able to take some photos of your families to remember this day you have spent with your mom. Explore this beautiful garden full of flowers and other fascinating plants. Are you considering this family fun experience to show how much you love your mother? Visit wkbg.org

Lydia Tanner is a 4th grader at Heritage Christian School. She loves playing softball and volleyball. When she’s not playing sports she can be found drawing, painting and serving others. For this issue of Owensboro Parent, she used an iPad to draw illustrations for several stories.

Lydia has an older sister, older brother, younger brother, and a puppy named Bear. When she grows up she wants to be an artist!

Lydia Tanner Illustrator MALLORY ALBERS is rocking 6th grade at Daviess County Middle School. She is a musician, an artist, a super big sister and a follower of Christ.

Natasha Stanley

work life balance and how her children changed her mindset when it comes to fashion.


My husband, Tyler, and I have two girls, Sloan and Hart. Having a 4 and 5 year old makes life lots of fun. We love to travel and take vacations. Our family is always on the go with dance, t-ball, school, church activities and other events for kids going on in Owensboro.


Bella Ragazza opened in May 2013. It was always my dream to open a store. I have always been in the retail industry and worked in different aspects and wanted to learn as much as I could to have my own store.

We started in downtown for six years and really learned a lot about my customers and their needs. Moving to Wesleyan Park Plaza in 2019 was a big leap with a big reward. We went into the Covid shutdown shortly after moving and that’s when I realized more than ever what my customers need. Building relationships and offering convenience and attention is why people want to shop small.


The saying “it takes a village” is so true! And I have a village. Our family is our lifeline. They are so hands on with my kids and my business. My father-in-law runs my kids to where they need to be and delivers packages to customers. I have an amazing amount of love and support and I feel so blessed everyday to have the family and friends that God gave me.


Having children changes just about everything in your life. Especially your mindset. Building confidence in women has always been the mission, but looking at that mission as a mom of two girls means even more to me. Seeing them light up when they feel good about what they are wearing is pretty amazing. My youngest, Hart, feels on top of the world when she’s in a princess dress or has on a necklace. Sloan loves being comfortable. She gets giddy when she’s wearing even a stained t-shirt that was given to her by her Nana or Meme because it makes her feel loved and knows it came from someone special. Clothing can seem superficial to some people, but I think it can make you feel powerful. It doesn’t have to be glamorous or trendy. Seeing my kids feels confident, having fun and feeling loved in clothes is pretty cool. I don’t think that feeling has to end at childhood. Women need that just as much, if not more.


I have said so many times that I’m so glad I decided to move home to Owensboro to start my dream. I had lived in other places and didn’t see that for my future. My plans weren’t God’s plan and it’s amazing to see what Owensboro has done for my life, my confidence and my dream. Customers have become friends and family. On my worst day, getting to go to work just to be around my staff can turn everything around. They bring me joy and a feeling I wish everyone could have at their job. Being a small business that builds intimate connections with people where you feel like you really know someone is really special in Owensboro because it’s full of really genuine people that truly care about you and want you to succeed.


Natasha Stanley is a wife, mom of two girls and owner of Bella Ragazza. Discover how this mom and small business owner finds

Keeping it Real

April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 11

What Kids Have to Say About Mother’s Day

Talk about serendipity: The Owensboro Parent “Kids Takeover” issue coincides with Mother’s Day – an opportunity for all those hardworking moms on staff to sit back, kick their shoes off, relax, and let the kids do all the work.

Hahaha! Okay, but seriously, this is one of the most fun issues of the year, and one of the most meaningful celebrations of the year, so let’s see what happens when we mix them up.

I checked in with three of my grandkids, who are always game for a little Q&A with Granma. Zeke is 7, Brody is 8, and Briley just turned 12 –a combined 27 years of experience in observing their respective mothers!

We started with the basics: What IS Mother’s Day, anyway? Brody had the best answer: “It’s kinda like a birthday for Moms.” (But will there be cake?!?)

Asked why Moms rate a special day dedicated just to them, Zeke responded, “Because they got you out of their stomach.” Well, he’s not wrong; that’s a good reason to celebrate, all right.

But now it was time to get down to serious business. The kids were asked what their mothers do, specifically, to rate a day on the pedestal. According to Zeke, his mother “used to rock me,” but those days are gone. Now, “She does the dishes and that’s all.”

Brody, perhaps thinking back on a long winter season of strep throat and flu, had a ready answer: “Whenever I’m sick, she stays home and takes care of me.”

Briley was a little more observant: “Mom gets me food and gets me stuff like clothes. She also helps me with

stuff like homework. When I come home from school and I have math and I don’t really understand, she comes and helps me. She’s okay at math but she helps me start to think about it and we look back at the video my math teacher posts.”

When pressed for more specific examples of things their mothers have done to make them happy, Zeke came through with shining colors: “One time she got me a Taco Hot Wheels car. She loves me and I love her. I like to spend time with her.”

Brody said his favorite thing about his mother is that “she surprises me. She takes me somewhere and she plays with me.”

Briley gave her mother credit for her kitchen skills: “She makes really good food, like her five-cheese ziti.”

All three children are convinced they have the best Mom in the world. Zeke’s explanation was simple: “She is gooder than daddy.” (Sorry, Dad.)

Brody rattled off a list of his own: “Because she is kind and because of all the stuff she can do, like cook and drive me places. She is always nice to me.”

Briley expanded on that thought, saying her mother is “nice to everyone. She is kind, loving, happy and hardworking. She teaches me how to cook.” Although Briley hasn’t mastered fivecheese ziti yet, she said, “I’ve learned how to make ramen noodles on the stove. I’ve also learned how to make brownies and cookies by myself. She taught me what measuring cups I need to use and how much I need of everything and how to turn the oven on.”

All three kids gave credit to their moms for their dedication to their

careers … even if they weren’t exactly sure what their mothers do for a living. Briley, however, had this observation about her mother, a special education teacher: “She’s very kind. She is always helping the kids at school even if it’s hard. Most people won’t do her job so she knows she has to work hard for them.”

And all three have their own ideas about how they plan to show their mothers how much they are loved and appreciated.

Zeke has committed himself to “doing the dishes, folding laundry, cleaning my toys, feeding the dogs and brushing my teeth without being told to.”

Brody will keep it simple: “Surprise her with a gift.”

Briley will put her love into action: “I will help her clean the house and tidy it up, give her a note and tell her that she’s good, and just tell her that we love her.”

They may not realize it, but when asked if they had anything else to say, these kids’ final remarks turned out to be the best gifts they could ever give to their mothers.

Zeke – whose mother always tells him he is her favorite little boy – said, “She’s my favorite little momma … and I’m going to be taller than her one day.”

Brody said, “I’m going to give my Mom hugs and kisses.”

And Briley said, “When I grow up, I want to be as kind as her.”

So Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms out there. Put your feet up, relax, and let the kids take over … returning the love you show them every day of the year. OP

12 OWENSBORO PARENT April // May 2023
LORA WIMSATT is a mother, grandmother and writer. She enjoys the everyday blessings and adventures of life, especially her family.
April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 13


Last year, my son, Henry, took over my column for the Kids Takeover edition. He wrote about ways to entertain your children, like getting them a pet inchworm. This year, Henry is back, along with his little brother, Simon.

I asked the boys what they would do if they were home alone for an entire day. I typed out their responses and had very little editing power. Like any normal kid, they talk a lot about doing the things I don’t like them doing, such as watching YouTube and playing video games. I was hoping for something a little more wholesome, but it is their turn to take over!

My name is Simon. I like Pokémon. I am five! I like playing Roblox. I go to kindergarten at Cravens Elementary. If I was home alone, I would watch TV and watch YouTube. I would plant a tree. Because I’ve never done it before. I’ve never painted a picture. Actually, I have. I like to paint. I just haven’t done it with real paint. For lunch I would eat a meat stick and a cinnamon roll and drink juice. Not water juice, normal apple juice. I would paint an Easter egg. I would play basketball and we would do a video game against adults. I would give myself a wedgie. Ha-ha I’m so funny. And I would paint a house when I grow up. And when I grow up, I want to build my own house. I want to be the president.

Hello, my name is Henry Johnson and I love dogs. I am in second grade at Sutton. I also like being home alone. Today we are going to write about what I would do if I was home alone. The first thing I would do is go upstairs and go on YouTube and watch other people play video games. Then I would go into the living room and finish Harry Potter the Goblet of Fire. Then I would come into my mom and dad’s bedroom and take a nap. After that I would get on my bike and ride around the street. And then I would get on my mom’s phone and call my cousin Ross to come over. We would have fun and play some video games. And then Ross would leave. Then for lunch I would have a pickle toast sandwich. And then I would take another nap, but this time with my dog. Then I would feed my dog. I would go upstairs and watch some more YouTube. And then I’ll play Pokémon on my Nintendo. Then I would go in the garage to get some Funyuns. And then I’ll eat another pickle toast sandwich and a banana for dinner. After dinner I’ll have dessert then go outside and ride my bike down the street. And then I would come back at 7 p.m. and go to sleep. And that’s what it would be like if I was home alone. I won’t really be home alone since my dog Newman is there, but it’s still home alone. We hope you like our takeover. Please read this to your kids. They will like it. OP

14 OWENSBORO PARENT April // May 2023
JAMIE JOHNSON is a full-time working mom to two little boys, wife to Logan, and part-time writer. Her pieces have been featured in HuffPost Parents, Motherly, Today Parents and PopSugar Moms. You can follow her blog at HashtagMomFail.com!

Making it

Photo by Jamie Plain


We’ve enjoyed baking from a young age with our parents and have special memories in the kitchen together. One of our favorite family traditions is baking at holidays for our business, Love Cakes. Our favorite treats to bake are around Christmas time. We love the fudge, bark, cookies and mini cakes we make. It’s a lot of fun seeing everyone smile and enjoy our treats.

What’s a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than baking a special treat for your Mom? These are the perfect spring desserts to celebrate your Mom. We love these delicious cupcakes and hope you do too!



›› 1 3/4 cups, all-purpose flour

›› 2 teaspoons baking powder

›› 1 teaspoon salt

›› 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp.

›› 1 cup sugar

›› 3 large eggs

›› 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

›› 2/3 cup buttermilk, room temp.

›› 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

›› 2 ounces semisweet chopped chocolate


›› 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.

›› 1 cup (15g) strawberries

›› 2 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream

›› 2 cups (230g) powdered sugar



›› Preheat to 350. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt.

›› Beat butter with sugar in mixer, on medium for about 5 minutes.

One at a time, add eggs, beating until combined. Add vanilla. In two batches add in flour, buttermilk, then flour again.

›› Whisk cocoa powder and 1/4 cup hot water in bowl until smooth. Add 10 ounces of batter to bowl. Stir and add chopped chocolate.

›› Layer, chocolate, then vanilla batter. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool completely before removing.



›› In electric stand mixer, whip butter on medium-high until very pale and fluffy, 6-8 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl.

›› Blend strawberries in food processor until finely ground.

›› Transfer strawberries to whipped batter, blending until combined.

Stir in heavy cream and powdered sugar, whipping for 4-5 minutes on medium-high, until fluffy.

›› Finally . . . enjoy! OP

Recipe by Hannah and Ella Jit Photos by Jamie Plain HANNAH JIT, 13 years old, enjoys reading, writing, and piano. ELLA JIT, 10 years old, enjoys science and loves to swim.
April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 17

Egg Carton


Here is a fun craft for you to do to celebrate the Spring season, Earth Day, and crafting! It is a great way to use typical things that you would throw away, into a super fun craft!


››Egg carton

››Fun colors of paint!

››Paper straws (I used green ones)

››Hot glue gun (Get a parent’s help for this)

››Different sizes of yellow pom poms


›› Cut the egg carton into flower shape (round each corner)

›› Then paint the carton however you like!

›› Let it dry depending on what kind of paint you are using.

›› Put a large dob of hot glue in the center of your egg carton; put a large yellow pom pom in the center of the glue dob and then surround it with tiny ones. (I used 8 in my example).

›› Then use the hot glue to stick the straw to the egg carton to create the stem.

›› Let your flower dry for a couple minutes and then your beautiful blossom has formed! OP

If you make these adorable crafts, be sure to tag a photo of them on our social media accounts! We would love to see them!

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Written by Avery Sorce // Photo by Jamie Plain AVERY SORCE is a sixth grader at Daviess County Middle School. She loves to craft and draw, read (especially Harry Potter) and play soccer.



Photo by Jamie Plain


Eight-year-old Lillie Dunn has proven that no one is too young to make an impact on their community. What started as a radio ad for a Safe Haven Baby Box sponsored by Right to Life Owensboro, led to Dunn and her two siblings raising more than $5,000 in a short amount of time.

“My husband was driving in the vehicle a couple weeks ago when the 90 second ad came on the radio advertising the Right to Life chili supper fundraiser,” Lillie’s mom, Julie Dunn, explained. “When it mentioned the baby box, Lillie was talking to her dad about it and said she wanted to give money towards it.”

After learning of a baby who was

recently surrendered in Bowling Green, Lillie knew she wanted to get involved in raising money for this cause.

While Lillie wanted to go door to door to ask her neighbors for donations, her mom had an idea. Lillie and her siblings loved creating art, so her mom suggested they take their artwork and sell it. After a social media post introduced their idea, the supportive response was almost immediate.

“Our kids were all in!” Julie said. “My husband thought maybe we will get $30 and I thought maybe we will get a couple hundred dollars – we never expected it to get this big.”

Orders started pouring in, some

requesting duplicates of already claimed pieces. During the days leading up to the chili fundraiser, Lillie, and her brothers, Elliot (10) and Jesse (5), worked together to fulfill orders. By the night of the supper, their endeavors had raised almost $2,000.

“At this point, the post had only been on Facebook for two days,” Julie explained. “I can remember thinking that if we got to $2,500 that would be an awesome amount, but since then we doubled that.”

In total, over 70 pieces of artwork have been sold, some with as many as a dozen duplicates requested. As far as what Lillie thinks of the success, she is

by Laura Murphy // Photo by Jamie Plain

proud to be a part of something that helps save babies’ lives.

“I am most excited about getting to hear that a baby could have their life saved by being put in this baby box,” Lillie said. “I feel surprised that my money raised could help this baby and I am also surprised that I raised this much.”

The Dunn family, who homeschools, describes this fundraising effort as a pivot moment for them to focus on an important community connection.

“Lillie has always had a tender heart. When she hears of a need, she wants to help. A big thing for her and for me as a mom is that our small efforts can make a difference. I am glad my kids are learning this lesson now at 10, 8 and 5. They can make a difference,” Julie said.

While Julie is proud of her three children and their efforts to raise

money for a great cause, ultimately she is thankful to draw some attention to the potential impact a Safe Haven Baby Box could have for desperate mothers and babies at risk.

Despite the Safe Haven Law, which allows a baby to be surrendered anonymously and without fear of prosecution at a staffed police station, Dunn heard of a baby in Wisconsin who was recently abandoned in a field and didn’t survive. Stories like this reiterate the importance of raising money to bring the Safe Haven Baby Box to Owensboro.

“Who knows if it could happen in our community? It’s a good option for a hard situation. I don’t want to put my kids in the spotlight as much as I want to put the baby box in the spotlight. This is huge,” Julie said.

Lillie Dunn started with the desire to help a local cause and now she wants

to continue to help others in the future. She is already brainstorming ways to keep the momentum going.

“I like to fundraise,” Lillie said. “Next, I want to help raise money for Care Net.”

While some children may feel small and insignificant, Dunn says this experience is teaching her children a lesson about making a difference.

“I never felt that way as a kid, that I could do something significant. My kids can now see needs in the community and things outside themselves,” Julie said. “Their time, effort and talents are being used for something bigger than themselves – that’s priceless. I could not have dreamed up an opportunity for my kids at this age and God set it in our laps.”

To donate to the Safe Haven Baby Box, visit www.rtlo.org. OP

April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 23
LAURA MURPHY is an eighth grade teacher at Daviess County Middle School. She has four kids who keep her life interesting; Jonah, Lily, Josiah and Judson. She survives on Grape Spark, Jon Gordan books and all things Grumpy Cat.
STARTER Discover a local teen who owns her own successful small business
Written by Laura Murphy // Photo by Jamie Plain

Monica Montgomery, a sophomore at Daviess County High School, has a pretty impressive resume. The young entrepreneur has experience as a social media manager, videographer and real estate assistant.

At just 16 years old, Monica has established M Squared Productions, with plans to continue to expand her business in the future.

When Monica was still in elementary school, she was already dreaming of working in video production.

“When I was 8 years old, I had been playing guitar and taking lessons. I never got into it,” Monica said. “I was watching YouTube all the time and watching bloggers. I begged my parents to let me quit guitar and start a YouTube channel.”

Monica was excited when they agreed to let her start her own channel, naming it “Growing up with Monica,” a move that eventually led to her first paid gig in videography.

“I started making videos for about two years. By age 10 or 11, I bought my first equipment—a Canon camera,” Monica said.

Monica later purchased a MacBook and editing software. As she expanded her arsenal of tools and gadgets, new opportunities emerged.

“Local Realtor and entrepreneur Matt Brown needed a videographer for a project and asked me if I could film it,” Monica said. “I told him I would bring all my camera stuff and film it on one condition—I told him if he liked it, he had to hire me.”

After being hired for her first job, doors began to open one after another for Monica, who started creating more videos and helping real estate agents and other small businesses post to

their social media.

“When I was 13, I was working as an assistant for a local real estate agent,” she said. “When he left to go to a new company, I went with him.”

What began as a personal YouTube Channel allowed Montgomery to find her passion for editing and video creation.

“It didn’t take me very long to realize I didn’t want to be on that side of the camera,” she said.

“I love the editing aspect of projects.”

Within the next year, Montgomery expanded her clientele to serve several clients at once, managing social media pages, creating spotlight videos for the sponsors of a local youth camp with Habitat for Humanity, and eventually diving even deeper into assisting local small businesses.

“One summer, I became an assistant for a real estate agent. We would stage houses, arrange furniture to make everything look pretty, move things from one house to another, and pick out paint colors,” Monica said.

Perhaps one of the biggest accomplishments for Monica happened recently, when M Squared Productions became an LLC. Although she can’t be the sole owner until she turns 18, Monica is already learning many aspects of running her own business.

One of those lessons Monica has learned is to invest in help, specifically hiring her brother. Though he might live right down the hall, the siblings take the work they share very seriously.

“It’s perfect for him—he does posters, graphic designs and fliers,” Monica said. “He doesn’t love it like I do, but he does enjoy it. It’s nice for him to be able to make money, too.”

Montgomery is thankful for her business to be a family affair, with her

parents offering to do their part of their daughter’s business.

“They love it—they have always been super supportive of me. My dad or mom will pick me up and get me where I need to go since I don’t even have my license yet,” Monica said.

Some of her past and current clients include Junk Pro by Jereme Wilner, Greater Owensboro Realty, Justin Rightmyer, E.P.I.C Youth Camp, and Kelly Burke. She has also helped create videos for Kentucky Farm Bureau and Heritage Christian School.

After creating her official business name and a stronger social media presence, the clientele will likely continue to grow.

Recently, Monica has also started to offer drone services, using her drone to shoot the inside of a house for sale.

“I launch the drone, drive the drone down and go straight in,” Monica said. “It’s perfect for real estate videos.”

From teaching herself the ropes of making YouTube videos to and using free software on her mom’s laptop, Monica is proud of how far she’s come.

“I love what I am doing. I used to think I’d pursue my mom’s career and be a loan officer. I don’t know if it’s still in the cards for me or not,” Monica said. “I do know I’d like to have more employees and continue to grow my business. Part of me thinks I’ll continue to do this.”

As far as future plans for college and beyond, she is keeping her options open there, too.

“I don’t want a ton more social media management right now. Next year, I’ll start early college and have a little more flexibility. I used to think I’d get out of Owensboro, but I don’t really want to. I love our community. It’s a great place to grow up.” OP

April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 25
LAURA MURPHY is an eighth grade teacher at Daviess County Middle School. She has four kids who keep her life interesting; Jonah, Lily, Josiah and Judson. She survives on Grape Spark, Jon Gordan books and all things Grumpy Cat.





For families with children who don’t travel out of town during spring and fall breaks, it can often be a struggle to entertain little minds and keep them engaged. EPIC Youth Camp has created an opportunity to not only engage children during this time away from classroom instruction, but also introduce them to essential skills needed for future work in high-demand trade jobs. EPIC is a three-day half-day youth camp that runs from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. and was designed to serve children ages 5 through 18. After seeing tremendous success during Fall Break of 2022, EPIC will be returning to the H.L. Neblett Community Center, Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club, and Girls Inc. Apr.5-7, during Spring Break.

“It turned out to be greatly appreciated by those community centers because the leaders of those centers are looking for activities for those kids and it was good to be able to provide that for them,” said Jagoe Homes new home sales consultant Shawna Kellems. “They were more than excited to have us come back.”

Throughout the three-day camp, campers are encouraged to use problemsolving, critical thinking, and effective communication skills, as well as their imaginations, to work as teams in order to compete in fun, hands-on projects.

“Initially they took their bodies and created a building with doors and competed to see who created the best building,” Kellems said. “They really enjoyed that part of it and cheering each other on and working together.”

Along with home building and home ownership, students are also offered a

glimpse into future careers in HVAC, welding, and energy efficiency. After seeing a need to educate young people on the importance of skilled trades, local business owner and Habitat for Humanity board member Allyson Sanders approached Kellems. The two brainstormed ideas and soon brought on Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jeremy Stephens and Home Builders Association of Owensboro Executive Officer Richard Stallings. The team pooled their resources and collaborated to create the first EPIC Youth Camp during Fall Break of 2022. Using an activity-based approach, the camp focused on the four key trade skills used in creating a home: electric, plumbing, innovation and construction. On day one, campers experienced the power of electricity by viewing motors that caused fans to spin, and competed on virtual welding machines provided by Owensboro Community & Technical College (OCTC). In order to better understand the necessity of adequate plumbing, students were given PVC piping and competed in teams to see who could create the most effective design to move water from one area to the other. Students were able to learn the purpose behind wall insulation by filling massive plexiglass walls with shredded paper. On day three, construction day, students worked with Stephens to construct a wall to be used in a future Habitat home.

“That’s the part where they get to really put themselves in the project and know they are in that home,” Stephens said. “That’s just the neatest thing that I get to do.”

When it comes to explaining the importance of home building and home ownership, Kellems said it has become part of her personal mission.

“I come from a background where homeownership wasn’t even on the radar—I love putting the idea in their minds that that is a possibility,” Kellems said. “I hope to help them connect the dots so they can make those dreams become a reality.”

The main goal of the EPIC founders was to reach a younger audience and educate them about Habitat for Humanity, home ownership, and the skilled trades

courses offered at Owensboro Community and Technical College. In order to reach that audience, Stephens suggested the idea of reaching out to children in already established day camps, such as the H.L. Neblett Community Center, Girls Inc., and the Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club.

“I remember being a kid…I came from a low income family…with more kids than money in the bank,” Stephens said. “I wonder as an adult looking back, why weren’t there more opportunities for me? I don’t think the trades were promoted to me at all. If they were, I think I would have done that instead of going to college.”

Stephens said it soon became a priority to do a better job of letting kids know what their future options are and discovering a way to get that information to them as young as possible.

“If we can get this information to them at an earlier time, they know this can be a possibility for them,” Stephens said.

As a parent, Habitat board member, and someone who works in higher education, Sanders said, when working with college students, it became abundantly clear that there was a critical need for younger audiences to understand the value of local resources, as well as the importance of skill trades and home ownership.

“It cannot be denied that younger people need more education in regards to their options prior to adulthood,” Sanders said. “Parents are working and teachers are teaching, so it’s on the community at large to step up and bring back the village mentality that it’s all of our jobs to ensure that young people are getting the necessary tools to be good citizens and obtain good futures filled with good paying jobs, home ownership, and education.”

EPIC Youth Camp is able to provide children with a variety of hands-on, interactive learning experiences thanks to the generosity of many local businesses and business owners. If you would like to become a bronze, silver, or gold level sponsor, please contact Shawna Kellems at shawna. kellems@jagoehomes.com OP

April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 27
MELODY WALLACE is a mom, stepmom and JAG specialist at Apollo High School.. She runs on caffeine, good deeds and the inspiring stories of others.

We are excited to reveal our 2023 Kids Takeover!

For this special section, we asked our local elementary schools to pick an outstanding student author to write an article about their school or community. With some help from their incredible teachers, these writers interviewed, wrote, illustrated and photographed all of the content in this section.

Special thanks to our friends at Daviess County Public Schools, Owensboro Public Schools, Owensboro Catholic Schools and Heritage Christian School. We couldn't put this issue together without your help!

Don't miss the ads, all of which were completely designed by local elementary school students with the hope of their original artwork winning our contest. Each business judged the entries and chose the winners. Owensboro Parent staff added some of our favorite picks in too!















Seth Mayfield Age: 10 Designed by: Kathleen Godinez Age: 11 1500 East 18th St. (270) 684-2949 1900 Southeastern Pkwy Owensboro, KY (270) 684-8954 www.dctfcu.com Daviess County Teachers Federal Credit Union Gabbi Williams Age: 10 Kentuckiana Animal Clinic Harper McDonald

1100 Walnut Street

(270) 689-6500 | www.rvbh.com

Age: 9

Aria Miller
Lexie Willis Age: 11 Designed by: Zakariah McCormick Age: 8 2821 New Hartford Road (270) 685-5777 OurFamilyDerm.com (270) 687-2787 Owensboro Dermatology De’Angelo Whittington Age: 11 RiverPark Center Nevaeh Baughn Age: 12

Designed by:

Age: 11

1201 Pleasant Valley Rd. (270) 417-2000


Eberle Goebel

Age: 11

Johana B.
Adele Page Poyal Age: 9 Designed by: Dawson Quisenberry Age: 11 3245 Mt Moriah Ave, Ste 10 2804 Frederica St www.mercyurgentcare.com 2705 Breckenridge St. (270) 684-9580 owensborodancetheatre.org Owensboro Dance Theatre Tessa Lynn Age: 10 Gateway Urgent Care Rafe Wathen Age: 11
2925 Wimsatt Ct. E (800) 685-2085 libertyfinancial.com
by: Bella Martin Age: 10 Ermelinda Francisco Age: 10
2020 Frederica St. • Owensboro, KY (270) 684-6144 www.dcplibrary.org 3030 New Hartford Rd. (270) 684-3201 Jack Cunha Age: 10 Designed by: Caroline Redfern Age: 9 Daviess County Public Library Emily Taylor Age: 9 Wills Animal Hospital Darion Havan Age: 11
1901 Triplett Street www.diamondlanes.net Diamond Lanes Graham Davis Designed by: Stella Payne
(270) 684-6144 owensboroallergy.com 2730 Frederica St. (270) 686-0001 www.lancecojewelers.com Sawyer Midkiff Age: 10 Designed by: Noah Ledford Age: 9 Allergy & Asthma Specialists, P.S.C. Oscar Ruiz
9 Lance & Co. Jewelers Stella Mason

My brother and I love to play games in the car! This is a fun activity to do on Spring Break. You can play BINGO and see who can get four in a row, or see who can get the most!


3. Something that helps block the sun from your eyes.

4. The holiday of which we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

6. The item that transports you to different locations.

7. Kids love to run and play in it, it is green, soft but itchy.


1. Cute animal that delivers eggs to kids.

2. A bright plant that typically grows in the spring.

3. Break from school, first week of April.

Spring Word Search

5. Big star that makes Earth bright.

Across helps block the sun from your which we celebrate the Jesus. ansports you to different in play in it, it is green, soft


1. cute animal that delivers eggs to kids!

2. a bright plant that typically grows in the spring

3. break from school, first week of April.

5. big star that makes Earth bright!

AVERY SORCE is a sixth grader at Daviess County Middle School. She loves to craft and draw, read (especially Harry Potter) and play soccer.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Spring Break Flower Basket Bloom Umbrella Easter Grass Sunshine Puddle Chick April Rain
E Q F M G L Z F J P I Z C V K F C R N S R U M B R E L L A A A I A I Q P W K F T B H C K O Y M I R K W R R C L Y W O K I A L N K W D G I P H O T P G K V S E G Q S S F N U I W W F S H N K E B N U E S G D C E V U L M Y Q A K N C J E B D K R Z E A B R S Q S Z C G V R L G T O A G E K L H D G V R U E E E I A S H E I I L I N K P Z A Z E P W T T V N C O L H D F W K I R F S E N E K V C R E X D B Q I K X Y R N I N G G R A S S E L K I B L O O M L N K U Z L Spring Break umbrella sunshine April flower easter puddle rain basket grass chick bloom

Can’t Find Your Green Thumb?


If you have seen any house tours on social media, most people have a dead plant somewhere in their house. That dead plant used to be in my house too, but now I have many thriving plants. Most people get a plant, forget about it, or just don’t know how to take care of it. I think we all have been in that situation with a plant that needs help. If you do have a plant at home or want to get plants in your home, you have come to the right place!

Plants are not as hard as people think they are. Of course there are plants that are hard to take care of, but those are pretty rare. If you have light in your house, water, and air you are almost there! The three main things plants need are water, sunlight, and oxygen. Most houses have these three things, so you have the basics to take care of plants. Beginner plants only need these

three things and some fertilizer.

So now you know what you need to take care of plants but how do you take care of plants? Well, different plants need different things. The best way to know about your plant is to search it online or look at the care card. At Lowes and other sellers when you find a plant you like look at the tag and right there is how to take care of your new plant. If you think you need more help you can always look at videos on how to take care of that plant. You also need to know what light you can provide for that plant so it gets proper light. Some plants might need something you can’t provide. Such as light water or special things such as trimming leaves and more. So if not all plants are for you what plants are? Before you get a plant look at where you want to keep it. How much light could you give a

plant in this space? If you think you are going to forget about this plant, put it somewhere you will see it often. You probably want to get a succulent because you don’t need to water them that often. If you can’t tell when a plant needs water I think a White Anne is a great choice because when they need water they start to droop. Another thing to think about is to get the plant you think will match your room/house.

Plants are easy, fun, simple, and not too messy. If you really think about it, plants are like easier pets. They don’t make noise or pee on your new rug. Just having plants in your room can brighten the space and make it cozy while also being modern. If your friends are coming over you can show them your new plant skills and have bragging rights. Now take all of this new knowledge and get some plants! OP

STELLA CLARK is in 5th Grade at West Louisville Elementary School. She enjoys taking care of plants and animals, swinging, listening to music, and BTS.
Kids Takeover

Mrs. Harper Mrs. Harper

Leaving a Legacy

What makes a great leader? Well, you have to be caring, respectful, and most importantly, kind. And that’s exactly what Mrs. Harper has done for 13 years as principal at Country Heights. She also made an impact while as a teacher at CHES and other schools for her almost 30 years of experience in education. She’s made this school the fun and unique way that it is. Sadly, her career is coming to an end, as she is retiring after this school year.

At Country Heights we have a word for every year, and “legacy” is this year’s focus word. And if you’re wondering, legacy means “your influence on the lives of others in your family or community.” Our ASL sign of legacy at CHES shows the hand movements of “looking back and giving to others.” That’s just perfect for Mrs. Harper because she has made a big impact at this school and will be remembered in the future. I know it. Some examples that she does that will make her remembered are the school news, the book of the year, and the way she empowers others to push harder to be successful.

The School News is a daily routine before our learning starts where the whole school watches Mrs. Harper and her guests talk about important events or cool things happening in a specific grade. Currently, she is choosing classes to show their learning. She does this by drawing teacher names out of a bucket

and then sends her stuffed animal husky named Curiosity, to visit the class for the day. The next day, they share their learning on the news with Mrs. Harper and the rest of the school.

The book of the year is something special that Mrs. Harper started several years ago. Last year, all students received the book Wonder or We’re All Wonders. The main idea from these books is that everybody is their own unique person and we should be kind to each other. This year’s books of the year included: Togo and Leonhard, Togo, or Balto. These books are all about real-life huskies who were courageous, hardworking, and synergized to save a town from a disease.

Mrs. Harper is also one of those people that get you motivated for the day. Her key to success is “working hard to help others feel empowered,

confident, and proud!” She wants others to feel valued and loved all the time. After reading Mrs. Harper’s quote, it stuck with me and it reminds me that others really care. It’s a really inspiring quote because it not only means to motivate others but it also helps me with feeling confident and proud of myself. And that’s not all. She’s done soooo much more stuff that others will remember in the future.

I may be a fifth grade student and will be going to another school next year, but wherever I go, Mrs. Harper will always be kept in my heart, and hopefully yours, too. All 500 students and staff at Country Heights love her so much and will remember the fun stuff she did with us in her time at CHES.


ZANE CORUM is a fifth grade student at Country Heights Elementary. Along with his love of writing, he enjoys spending time with his family watching Kentucky basketball games and visiting Disney World!
Kids Takeover

3 tips 3 tips

to stay motivated at the end of the school year

It’s almost summer! That also means that we are really close to the last day of school! I usually like to finish off my school year strong. Finishing the year on a good schedule helps me stay focused even though it’s so exciting that the last day of school is near. I think everyone should stay motivated and focused during the last weeks of school, and here are some ways you could do that!

My first tip is to go to sleep around the same time every night. Going to sleep at the same time every night will help you keep a steady schedule and will help you stay focused. Setting a good time

to go to bed is also a good thing.

Another way to stay on track is to keep your responsibilities straight. Just because you are about to leave school doesn’t mean you still don’t have responsibilities! Sorry to break it to you but you probably will still have homework and tests.

My last tip is to set goals for yourself to finish during the last weeks of school. This goal can be as simple as getting better at math. Maybe you’re stuck on something, ask for help! It’s better to ask for help than to struggle.

I hope you can finish your year off strong. Remember to stay motivated! OP

EVELYN TIUL LAJ is a fourth grade student at Burns Elementary School. She enjoys riding her scooter, participating in after school clubs, and loves to read new books!

The Art of Volunteering

The Art of Volunteering

Mrs. Jamie Reames is a standout Art teacher at Heritage Christian School. She goes above and beyond providing supplies, planning to teach our class, and she does it with kindness. At our school the Art Teachers are volunteers. Mrs. Reames has been my class volunteer Art Teacher from Kindergarten to 5th grade. This is very motivational to see her coming on back and trekking through it even though our class is not the most wellbehaved class. We can be kinda loud and obnoxious, but she comes back week after week.

She provides quality art supplies for our class. The projects she teaches include things like a Van Gogh painting of the Sunflowers, how to do an optical illusion, teaching us imagery. We have painted on canvases, tree bark, wood, and paper. Mrs. Reames has taught me to look at the world around me to see different objects I can use in art.

During 4th grade we had a year long project of learning about Kentucky and compiling a scrapbook. She helped us do two projects to put in our scrapbooks. One of them, we

used our state flower, the Goldenrod. She had gone out and picked real Goldenrods for us to use. She could have simply given us a coloring sheet to complete, but Mrs. Reames wanted us to press the real-deal flower. We took the Goldenrod and pressed it onto paper. Then we cut up orange, yellow, and white paper and used it to decorate all around the Goldenrod. Then we had a picture of the state of Kentucky split up into the natural regions. We wadded up little bits of tissue paper and each region we did in a different colored tissue paper. For example, we live in the Western Coal Field Region and I used red tissue paper for that region.

Mrs. Reames is so kind that I’ve never heard her raise her voice during class. Even when she is trying to teach us a new technique or a complicated project and kids keep talking when she is talking, she is sweet and kind with her words.

When we were working on paper mache bowls for Mother’s Day, she had us pick from three different fabrics and some kids were taking a long time to pick one. Mrs. Reames did not rush anyone and helped them make the right fabric selections for their moms. That paper mache bowl turned out so good my mom actually kept it and places it out for others to see! Mrs. Reames is always smiling and she makes me look forward to art class.

Mrs. Reames is a lovely person and I’m thankful she is a volunteer at Heritage Christian School. OP

Kids Takeover
EBERLE GOEBEL is a 5th grade student at Heritage Christian School. She likes to play volleyball and basketball. She enjoyed reading the entire Nancy Drew series. She loves avocados, Chick-fil-a, and her dog, Murray.

There are many benefits of recycling. It helps reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills, it conserves natural resources, and it helps create jobs in the recycling industry.

Recycling helps to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. This is because recycling takes the materials that would otherwise be sent to landfills and turns them into new products. This reduces the amount of waste that is produced, and it also reduces the amount of space needed for landfills. There will be less waste if people


Recycling also conserves natural resources. This is because it takes less energy and resources to recycle materials than it does to extract new materials from the earth. This means that recycling can help to reduce the amount of pollution that is produced. Recycling will help conserve natural resources.

Finally, recycling helps create jobs in the recycling industry. This industry provides jobs for people to collect, sort, and process recyclable materials. These jobs can help to reduce unemployment and provide

Reduce, Reuse, RECYCLE! Our Home

People don’t realize it, but Owensboro is the most special place in the whole world. I don’t have to be at my house to feel that I’m at home. Everywhere you go, you meet friendly people. I travel a lot, but once I see the sign that says “Welcome to Owensboro” I don’t stress. I relax when we cross that wonderful little Blue Bridge.

When we cross the bridge I feel like I’m at home. When I check out at

Walmart, Sam’s, Meijer, even Kroger, they greet me. They may not notice it, but their good deeds make it the wonderful city we live in. We don’t have a really big city, but big enough to always meet new people.

When I’m hungry I get speedy service, because everybody works hard. Out wonderful city is very happy and festive. For example, at Friday After Five, me and my family loved walking around, getting

a living for people who might otherwise be unable to find jobs. Unemployment is a big problem in America, but recycling can help with that.

In conclusion, the benefits of recycling are many and varied, but the bottom line is that it is good for the environment. Recycling conserves natural resources, reduces waste sent to landfills, and creates jobs for people. So, if you’re looking for a way to help the environment, recycling is a great option. OP

slushies, buying delicious popcorn, and playing on the playground. We also go all out on holidays like Fourth of July. Me and my family go to the Convention Center and jump on inflatables then get a table and watch the beautiful and sparkling fireworks.

Like I said before the reason Owensboro feels like home is because everyone includes you. OP

CLAIRE DUNLAY is a fifth grader at Meadow Lands Elementary School. She enjoys listening to Taylor Swift music. ELLIOT COX is 9 years old and attend the Owensboro Catholic 4-6 Campus and is a beast on the soccer field. He enjoys reading, drawing and eating a lot of oranges.

Boredom Busters Boredom Busters Family Fun

When you are at home there are many activities you can do at home with family to entertain yourself. For example, if you play a sport you could practice and catch a ball, or you could even go on a walk with your family. Another thing you could do is go in the backyard and play with your pet, or you could even play a board game with your family and friends. If you can’t do any of those things, you could bake with your family and create a new recipe, or maybe you could get some popcorn and watch a movie. Another thing I like to do is paint. It takes a long time, but every time you do it with company, time

never matters. If you have a sibling or friend who likes playing video games you could play a game that you both enjoy together.

If you are feeling adventurous, you could even reach out to your local school to find family activities that they offer. My school, Tamarack, always makes everything fun with family nights and projects. At Tamarack they host family fun nights. For example, they host Tamarack Edge Ice night and the Tamarack Carnival. When you go to the Edge Ice family night, you can meet up with your friends or even convince your parents or siblings to ice skate with you.

At Tamarack Carnival night, there are always large, thrill-seeking rides that friends and family can enjoy, and even game booths to earn prizes.

There are plenty of ways to “bust” your boredom at home and at local events! It doesn’t matter if you get rid of your boredom at home or at events, it just matters that you figure out at least one way and you have fun doing it! It’s super important to spend time with your family and friends because it can mean a lot to them, and it could strengthen your relationship with them. OP

Kids Takeover
HALLIE WILHITE is a fourth grade student at Tamarack Elementary School. She loves drawing, creative projects, and all things athletic (but mostly softball).

Making a Difference Making a Difference

What would you say if I handed you a plate with no food? A glass with no drink? A desk without a chair? A TV without a remote? Socks, but no shoes? A school with no school counselor? NO, THANK YOU!

Ms. Tines and Mrs. Travis are two rock star school counselors that make big impacts at Sutton Elementary everyday. In fact, it starts first thing in the morning. When kids get dropped off in the morning, Mrs. Travis is always waiting for them in front of the school. You can count on Ms. Tines to deliver all the important information the students need to know each day at morning assembly.

Both ladies are great influences on the students of Sutton Elementary. Kids look up to Ms. Tines and Mrs. Travis, and they should. These stars are the definition of good role models. They have positive attitudes and model for the students appropriate choices and interactions with fellow classmates.

The students at Sutton are Ms. Tines’s and Mrs. Travis’s first priority. They seem to ‘belong’ in Sutton Elementary. They really are just a perfect fit. Fit like…..the basketball to the hoop. The key to the lock. If Sutton was a bottle, the school counselors would the cap.

These two counselors make a positive impact on the school. I am very grateful to have them. They have made a big difference in the lives of the children and in Sutton Elementary. Every time someone talks with either of these counselors, Ms. Tines and Mrs. Travis have the opportunity to make an impact on their mental health. They show empathy and friendliness throughout their work. If someone is sad, the counselors are there. If someone has a problem, the counselors are there. If there is a problem, the counselors are there.

Heck, it sounds like the counselors are always there for the children!

I know one time I walked into the guidance office grumpy and sad. After 15 minutes of talking and reasoning, I walked out happy and bright. (If you know me, that was a difficult task for Mrs. Travis!)

Ms. Tines and Mrs. Travis are amazing guidance counselors and even better people in general. Sutton Elementary is blessed to have these two great women on our staff as school counselors! As a fifth grade student, I would like to thank you for all the time and effort you put into helping me in six years here at Sutton! OP

WILLIAM STARNES is in 5th grade at Sutton Elementary. He enjoys writing short stories and graphic novels in his pastime, as well playing pick-up basketball and having nerf wars in the neighborhood with his buddies. He will be playing his last season of baseball at Southern Little League this spring. Lastly, but certainly not least, he enjoys worshiping the Lord with his friends and family at First Baptist Church and is looking forward to 4-H and church camp this summer!


What Makes Owensboro a Great Hometown for Kids


When I told my students they were going to be featured in Owensboro Parent they were so excited. The editor sent us a list of ideas and away we went narrowing it down. I told them to think like a writer and pick a topic that they were passionate about, a topic that made ideas immediately come into their head. When we chose to write about what makes Owensboro a great hometown for kids, their eyes lit up. They love it here and they love calling Owensboro home. I started thinking of my view on the topic as a parent raising children in Owensboro and I had to agree, there is so much that makes this town a fabulous place to grow up. Is it a major city? No! Do we have a million things to do around here on a daily basis? No! What we do have is access to a

lot of great indoor and outdoor activities, parks, restaurants, and quite a few big towns within a three hour drive. Here is our list of what makes Owensboro a great hometown for kids.


Owensboro has more than 25 parks around town, the students all decided Smothers park was their favorite. Kayla said, “I like the park because it has swings, slides, and monkey bars. It helps kids get their energy out since there is so much to do.”


Elite Air and the Escape Room topped their list for indoor fun. They love the escape room because they also have an

arcade with fun games. Elite Air was their favorite according to Demarion because “you can play dodgeball, you can run and jump, play in the ballpit, there’s an obstacle course, jungle gym and zip line.” There’s just so much to do in there. The AMC movie theater came in a close third. They love that it’s inside and they have tasty popcorn while enjoying a movie.


Raegan said, “Ice skating is great for kids, you can learn how to skate, spin, skate backwards and hang out with your friends.” Bella added that “it’s a great way to spend time with your family and your friends.”.

52 OWENSBORO PARENT April // May 2023

With the skate park being within walking distance of many of their houses, they spend a lot of time there. They love that you can take your skateboard, scooter, or bike and learn to do tricks. It’s a great place for them to hang out with their friends and have fun. Caden said, “lots of kids go there so it’s fun.”

Shyne, and his dad, Jazz, both commented on the topic saying, “There are so many places to play, like waterparks, and we have the best schools. It’s such a peaceful place with a lower crime rate.”

Demarion said, “All of my friends live in Owensboro. We have a great school and great sports, which allow us to make friends outside of school. It’s so pretty here and I feel safe everywhere I go.”

We made quite a long list of things the students love about Owensboro, but some

of our favorites are what’s listed above. They could all agree that Owensboro is safe, beautiful and full of awesome things to do. They love their school and their community. You can see the pride in their

faces when they say Owensboro is home. I feel the same way for my kids. Watching them grow up in a town where they have so many friends and so much family makes Owensboro a great place to call home. OP

April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 53
KATY TIERNEY is a third grade teacher at Estes Elementary. She and her husband, Daniel, have two daughters, Harper & Tilly. Her large, extended family and career always keep her on the move. She loves reading with her daughters and spending all the time she can with her family and friends.

Mom’s a Main Character

Celebrate the joy and drama of being a mama with this issues’ featured books. All of these titles and more can be found at your Daviess County Public Library.

Super Mom

A board book highlighting the superhero powers of mothers. With vivid colors, playful rhymes, and silly scenes, it is perfect for little readers.

Mama Says

This beautifully illustrated picture book features wise words from mothers to their sons. It features 12 different languages alongside scenes of mothers from around the world to remind us that a mother’s love is universal.

Let Me Hold You Longer

This bittersweet lyrical picture book reminds us to cherish every moment of growing up.

My Mom the Pirate

This easy reading chapter book is the hilarious tale of a boy whose mom has a crazy job. And when a devastating flood hits their town, her job skills just might come in handy.

Road Trip with Max and His Mom

Max’s mom is planning a road trip to a family reunion with a roller coaster ride on the adventure list. But Max is nervous about all these new experiences and especially about leaving his dad behind. Sometimes family is a tricky thing to define.

The Mother-Daughter Book Club

Four very different middle school girls are brought together through a book club to read Little Women with their mothers. With these new friendships and the wisdom of the March girls they will navigate the drama that is middle school.

For Moms:

Begin a five-year memory journal. Give each day of the year a page, and organize the page to eventually hold memories from five different years. Each day record a sweet moment with your children. When you return to that day and that page in the years to come you will have a collection of sweet moments to reflect upon.


Older Kids:

Find a copy of your favorite book from when you were very young, the one that your mom read to you every night. Snuggle together and read it to her as a thank you.


Younger Kids:

Set a goal to read a book with mom every day. Document your goal with a sticker chart.

KATIE ALBERS grew up in Owensboro and loved words so much that she became a school librarian and even alphabetized her family: Josh, Katie, Lance, Mallory, Noelle, Oaken, and Polly (the cat).

54 OWENSBORO PARENT April // May 2023
April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 55

Self-care for all ages

We all know that self-care is important for us as adults, but it is also important for our children. It is critical that we model ways for children and teenagers to learn how to take care of themselves. Self-care for all ages can help us be more introspective and make us aware of our own emotional and physical needs. This can help all of us be more prepared for what life throws at us. Even the smallest acts of self-care can improve relationships, decrease stress and increase overall health and wellness.

Kids are tiny sponges that soak up everything we do as adults. We can teach them healthy ways to care for themselves but we can also teach them unhealthy ways that we handle stress. We can all be

teaching and modeling healthy self-care habits for any age. When we teach our children about self-care at a young age, this will teach them that their mental and physical health is important. Remember that our kids often learn more from what we do rather than what we say. Self-care is unique to the individual and what works for one person may not work for the next person. You can model what taking care of yourself looks like for your children. Remember to start small with kids. Think about a task that may cause frustration for your little one. When you are exploring self care for littles, just keep in mind their age and developmental level. If they are having a hard time at a task, try taking a break and modify the

steps so that they feel less overwhelmed than before.

The benefits of this practice are twofold. You get to teach your children how to identify their own physical and emotional needs. You are also practicing self-care for yourself and we all need some extra care. You are creating a foundation for success for your children that will benefit them well into adulthood. Your child will be able to become more independent and learn how to take care of themselves.

Teach basic skills. Think about areas such as diet and hygiene. When you feed your child healthy foods, giving them a bath and brushing teeth, you are developing a foundation of healthy habits.

Below I have some self care activities


that you and your child can try together. I did some research to get some ideas from children aged 4 and up regarding ways that they like to take care of themselves. These are great activities to do together and create connections between you and your child all the while taking care of yourself as well.

Don’t be afraid to be silly and have fun. Activities like coloring, painting, and playing are less likely to feel like work and they create emotional outlets and foster connection. Music and dance can have positive effects on your child’s development and self-awareness. Music is a great self-care activity and has been known to improve mood and promote wellbeing. Consider using background music to improve a frustrated or anxious child to improve overall mood.

Children want us all to put our phones away and play. Playing together

fuels imagination, creativity, problem solving skills and well-being. Give yourself permission to play. These activities don’t necessarily have to be structured but you do need to have fun.

Create quiet family time. A few moments of singing favorite songs, reading a bedtime story or hearing about your child’s day before bedtime can create connection. When you prioritize this slow down time, it helps to create lasting, healthy habits.

Use mindfulness to be present in the moment. Every time we come home, we have the opportunity to shift our mental focus in a positive way. Remind yourself to leave what happened at work in the past and be present in the current moment now. Your middle and high school children may think you are being weird but you are modeling healthy self-care strategies and hopefully they will follow suit.

You can practice what is called a 3-step compassion break. This is something that you can model for your children. The first part is to acknowledge when something has been stressful. The second part is to acknowledge that stressful situations are part of life and other people experience this as well. Lastly, ask yourself, “What can I do right now to be kind to myself?” When your child sees you go through this and talk about it, you are setting them up for success to follow in your footsteps.

There is no wrong way or right way to perform self-care. You have to find what works for you and your family. All families are different and enjoy different forms of self-care. The earlier that you can start teaching these habits, the easier it will be to incorporate them into their daily lives. Practicing self-care will help you manage whatever stressors life throws your way. OP

April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 57
CHRISTINA DALTON, MSSW, LCSW is a District Social Worker for Daviess County Public Schools.

Avoid Overuse Injuries as Spring Sports Start

As the snow melts away and the flowers begin to bloom, it’s a sure sign that spring has arrived. And for kids, that means it’s time to dust off their sports equipment and get ready to hit the field. Spring sports allow children to get active, learn new skills, and make lasting friendships. Whether it’s baseball, softball, soccer or track and field, there’s a sport for everyone.

For middle school and high school athletes, especially those who focus on one sport year-round, doctors encourage a well-rounded approach to training to avoid overuse injuries.

“Staying active, staying healthy and playing multiple sports has been shown to be very beneficial to mental health and physical health, so when you specialize too early, you lose out on that,” Justis Soltz, MD, a sports medicine specialist at Owensboro Health, said. “You only train your body to do certain specific motions, you increase the risk of overuse injuries, and then these are the kids that oftentimes will quit. They’ve been playing only baseball since they were 10 years old, so when they get to 14 or 15, they’re done.”

Dr. Stolz adds that in these specialized players, there’s a high risk of overuse injuries that can result in a significant loss of playing time and threaten their future in sports participation.

Student-athletes can sometimes feel pressure only to play one sport, or that to advance to college-level sports, they

have to do increasing reps and go to intense camps. This mindset only adds to overuse injuries, Dr. Soltz said.

In the Owensboro Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Walk-in Clinic, he has seen more shoulder and elbow injuries as spring sports begin. One of the simplest prescriptions is rest.

“We’ll start to see things like Little League shoulder or Little League elbow, and if you catch it early enough, it’s a period of rest, but you’re not going to lose your whole season,” he said. “I’ve had kids come in, and they’ve been hurting for five months, and they sometimes need up to four or five months of rest without throwing just to get back. So, the earlier you catch it, the better.”

Regardless of age, it’s important for all active individuals to take time to prepare themselves for the activity through stretching and stretching. Rest is equally important and lets your body

recover. Dr. Stolz recommends that people who play sports take a full break for a least a couple of weeks each year.

And if you’re having pain issues, seek medical attention rather than trying to “tough it out.”

Owensboro Health offers a convenient orthopedics and sports medicine walk-in clinic for just these sorts of injuries. Patients ages five and up are welcome; you don’t have to be an athlete to be treated. The clinic treats walk-in patients for many types of needs, including sprains, fractures, carpal tunnel, old and new injuries, sore joints, concussions and more. Located in the Pleasant Valley Medical Building, Suite 500B, the walk-in clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 to 11 a.m.; no appointment is necessary. Visit OwensboroHealth.org/WalkIn to learn more. OP


At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year in the United States. This is likely an underestimate because many cases are unreported. The children of Daviess County are unfortunately just as impacted by abuse and neglect. Did you know that there were nearly 600 children who had a substantiated case of abuse, neglect or dependency in 2022?

Family Court Judges Jennifer Hendricks and Angela Thompson see cases like this every day in their courtrooms. They took a moment from their busy dockets for a Q&A in order to give a better look at the growing problem of child abuse and neglect in Daviess County.

How many children experience abuse or neglect in Daviess County in a month or a year?

On average, for the month of February 2023 there were approximately 97 cases of dependency, child abuse and neglect filed in Daviess County. In 2022, there were approximately 558 cases of dependency, child abuse and neglect filed in Daviess County.

How has abuse and neglect changed over the last few years? Was there an impact from COVID?

Abuse and neglect has changed over the last few years a lot due to COVID-19. Yes, there was definitely an impact from COVID-19 regarding dependency, abuse and neglect cases. In Kentucky, we are all mandatory reporters of child dependency, child abuse and neglect. During COVID-19 children were not attending school, church services, going out in public, etc. Therefore, issues such as child dependency, abuse and neglect were not as well seen and reported due to the children being at home with the alleged perpetrators.

What are the most common challenges you see children/families in your courtroom face?

The most common challenges I see children/families face in my courtroom is substance abuse issues coupled with mental health issues, which ultimately affect the children’s home life.

Is there a long term-effect from abuse and neglect on children as they grow up? What do you see?

Absolutely. There is a study regarding this very issue. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. ACEs can include violence, abuse, and growing up in a family with mental

health or substance use problems. Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect how the body responds to stress. The more ACEs a child experiences, the more likely he or she is to suffer from things like heart disease and diabetes, poor academic achievement and substance abuse.

What do you see making a difference between the families who successfully leave the system and those who return to your court over and over?

What I see making a difference between the families who successfully leave the system and those who return to court over and over again is the individuals and families who have a strong support system in place; whether it be therapist, family, social workers, case workers, or providers, that they continue to reach out to rely on when they recognize they are struggling. These individuals have learned the warning signs when they need help and reach out before the issue becomes an issue of dependency, abuse and neglect with their children. They have learned from the tools provided to them the first time and continue to utilize these tools in the future ultimately preventing their return to court in the future.

What can we do as a community to prevent child abuse and neglect?

As a community in order to prevent child abuse and neglect we need to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect and reach out to help versus turning a blind eye with the outlook that “it’s not my problem” or “I don’t want to get involved” or “someone else will report it.” We are all mandatory reporters of dependency, neglect and abuse on children. Once the appropriate parties are aware of the issues a family may be facing, it is their goal to help provide the necessary tools to resolve the issue and hopefully prevent the reoccurrence in the future.

What do you wish more people knew about child abuse and neglect?

As shown by the numbers listed above, child dependency, neglect and abuse affects a number of families throughout Daviess County each month and each year. As a community it is a “us” problem and not a “their” problem. Let’s all take a stand against child abuse and work together to assist families to obtain the assistance they need during a difficult time to hopefully one day eradicate dependency, neglect and abuse of children. I encourage everyone to reach out to organizations such as CASA, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Borrowed Hearts, Oasis, and other providers to see how they can help take a stand against child abuse. OP

At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year in the United States.

2 out of 3 children experience adverse childhood experiences before they turn 18


Number of Children in Daviess County who had a substantiated case of abuse, neglect or dependency in 2022.


Number of children at the end of 2022 in out of home care.


Number of children in Daviess County served by a CASA


Number of children appointed to CASA by a judge and waiting for a volunteer advocate

60 OWENSBORO PARENT April // May 2023
Child abuse is more prevalent than you think.

Out & About

7 LOCAL THINGS TO DO this season





Kids ages 3-5 and their caregivers are invited to join DCPL Mondays and Thursdays for stories, songs, and movement to help them prepare for school. Stay to play and socialize with a craft or other activity!




Kids ages 0-2 and their caregivers are invited to join DCPL on Mondays and Thursdays for stories, songs, and movement to help them prepare for a life of learning. Stay to play and socialize with a craft or other activity!


APRIL 21 AT 6:30 P.M.


Come play Bingo and win designer bags-Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Coach, Tory Burch, and More. One lucky gal will win a Louis Vuitton! Grab your girlfriends and join us for a night of fun!

Only $40 for 10 chances to win a designer bag! Plus a jewelry and popcorn bar! For more information, contact ODT at ODT1982@gmail.com or 270684-9580.

Farmer’s Market



JUN. 1-AUG. 31: THURSDAYS, 4 - 7 P.M. 1205 TRIPLETT ST

Shop fresh, locally grown produce and other local goods from your favorite vendors! Kick off the 2023 season on April 15 and celebrate the fifth year in the pavilion!

64 OWENSBORO PARENT April // May 2023 OUT & ABOUT 1 4 2

The Stand Against Child Abuse



The STAND is a unique event, pulling together dozens of community partners who have an interest in the wellbeing of children and families. This event is FREE family and is open to the public. Activities provided include balloon animals, face painting, free giveaways, educational materials on abuse, coloring stations, a petting zoo and much more! Stand with us as we bring awareness.

A Pinwheel Proclamation will take place with Daviess County Family Court Judges on April 11 at 9 a.m. on the Kentucky Wesleyan front lawn. Students from Owensboro Public Schools iMiddle will “planting” pinwheels to bring awareness to child abuse.


Spring Bliss Market Day @ Reid’s Orchard


Enjoy 25 vendors, kids activities and a beautiful spring day at the farm! While you’re there, check out the beautiful flowers from Katie’s Greenhouses!




Stretch your budget! 500 families will be selling new or gently used children’s items at amazing prices at the Pigtails & Cowlicks Children’s Spring Consignment Sale! Clothing, toys, furniture, books, baby gear, shoes, boutique, and more. ALL for kids – from babies to teens!

April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 65
5 6

kids meal deals


Dee's Diner - one free kids meal per adult meal purchase (in-house only, ages 5 and under)


Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn - Up to 2 kids eat free (ages 10 & under) from 4-9pm with adult buffet purchase

Zaxby’s – Up to 3 99¢ kids meals with the purchase of an adult meal from 5-8pm

Huddle House – 1 free kids meal when you spend $6.99 or more on adult entrée


Beef ‘O’ Brady’s – Kids 12 & under eat for $2.99 all day every Tuesday when dining in!

Fazoli’s – Up to 3 99¢ kids meals with the purchase of an adult entrée

Trunnell’s 54 Deli – 1 free kids meal with the purchase of a signature sandwich

Huddle House – 1 free kids meal when you spend $6.99 or more on adult entrée

McDonald’s – $1.99 Happy meals from 4-7pm; dine-in only


Dairy Queen (Frederica Location) – Up to 2 $1.99 kids meals

Trunnell’s 54 Deli – 1 free kids meal with the purchase of a signature sandwich


Lure Seafood & Grille – Free kids meal with purchase of adult entrée

Freddy’s – Free scoop or cone with the purchase of a kids meal on Family Night. Kids can enjoy coloring pages, crayons, balloons and stickers!

Pizza Hut (South Frederica location) – 1 free child buffet with the purchase of an adult buffet from 4:30-7pm

Wheatgrass Juice Bar – Free kids smoothie with adult purchase


Salsarita’s – Free kids meal with the purchase of an adult entrée; dine in only

Beef O’ Brady’s – Free kids meal (ages 12 & under) from 4-8pm with each adult meal purchase; dine-in only


on the honor roll?

Bring your report card to these local restaurants & businesses for additional deals!

Orange Leaf – Bring in your report card and receive $1 off yogurt; a report card with straight A’s will receive a small cup free.

Ritzy’s (Both locations) – Ritzy’s has a “Scoops for Scholars” program. Students can bring in their report card each grading period to earn treats for each “A.”

1A = flavored soft drink (cherry, vanilla, or chocolate)

2 A's = single scoop of ice cream

3 A's = your choice of a hotdog, coney, hamburger, or cheeseburger

4 A's = double scoop of ice cream

McDonald’s – All five Owensboro McDonald’s decided this school year that they will award a free Happy Meal to any student who gets straight A's on their report card.

Chuck E. Cheese in Evansville – A child can receive 10 tokens with a purchase if they bring in their report card.

Sky Zone in Evansville – All A’s= 1/2 off any jump. A & B’s= $5 off any jump. Weekdays & Friday 2-7pm.

April // May 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 67
*This list is subject to change. Please contact restaurants to ensure their participation.

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