Owensboro Parent - April/May 2024

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April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 5 IN EVERY ISSUE 8 From the Editor 9 Around OBKY 10 Parent Profile KEEPING IT REAL 12 Real Life with Lora Wimsatt Cultivating Character: Let’s prepare the kids who are going to take over the world. 14 Hashtag MomFail If I Were the Mayor of Owensboro for the Day MAKING IT 16 Recipe Spring Flower Bites 18 Craft Time Explore the Outdoors with this Nature Collector DISCOVER 54 The Book Nook Learning through Reading 56 Nurturing Emotional Well-Being in our Children OUT & ABOUT 58 Events Calendar Our list of fun things to do around town this season! 62 Kids Meal Deals Check out these local kids meal deals! FROM OUR READERS 64 We Love our Moms! Photos submitted to our Facebook page sponsored by Owensboro Health!
Of Life: The Rollercoaster Two Local Leaders Inspire Hope Through Children’s Book
Kids Takeover Ad Design Contest Check out this year’s winners of our annual ad design contest! 20 Meet Camryn Schroader Our 2024 Cover Kid Contest Winner Sponsored by Allergy & Asthma Specialists, P.S.C.
Trailblazing Tigers How West Louisville Elementary School’s cheer program is forging their own path Contents APRIL // MAY 2024


When I was little, I wanted to be an artist or a teacher, which is hilarious because I have zero artistic ability and would never have enough patience to be a teacher.


I wanted to be a breakdancer!



Ashley Wedding


Katie Albers

Christina Dalton

Jamie Johnson

Christie Netherton

Erinn Williams

Lora Wimsatt

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



Brock Quinton



Andrea Roberson

Monica Tapp



Jamie Plain


Camryn Schroader

Photo by Jamie Alexander


Dave Mackey

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


When I was little I wanted to be a gymnast or a ballerina.


” ”

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.

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Jason Tanner

2624-A New Hartford Rd. Owensboro, KY 42303 270-297-1600

I always wanted to be a teacher or a veterinarian as a kid!

I also always wanted to hold stop signs at construction sites, not sure why ��



6 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024


I recommend this fun game — a nerf course that you set up around your house. My mom made the targets out of blue and orange paper plates and stacked cups for us to shoot down. This is fun because it is a competitive game that you can play with your family and friends and if you lose you will get a punishment.


If you like soccer you could play Sportstutor it is fun because you can play soccer in winter without you being cold and you can also play out side while it warm. You can play soccer with your friends.

From the Editor

Hi my name is Reed and I am the son of Ashley Wedding and she is the editor of this magazine. This is the Kids Take Over issue. Kids are the boss and we do the jobs. Kids write the articles, draw the illustrations, and design the ads. I get to take over my mom’s job and write this letter.

I think the kids did a better job. This whole magazine thing is way easier than I thought. I hope you like the articles and the drawings. Thank you to the businesses that


This Dude Perfect game is really fun because it has all the sports like basketball and football and golf and your whole family can play it. And it has a Wheel Unfortunate. And if you lose you have to do a consequence of your family’s choice. One time I had to eat nasty chips and very sour lemon juice.



Foust Elementary School has launched a “Homework Diner” to provide families with assistance on student assignments. The new monthly program also focuses on connecting with the community and includes a meal following the help with homework.

Owensboro Public Schools Full Service Community Schools Coordinator Brian Benjamin said the initiative is part of the grant program the school received at the start of the year.

“The Homework Diner brings families together with school staff and their families, and it just creates a sense of community and provides some homework assistance for the parents and


One of the most challenging years of Laura Murphy’s life came in 2020. She and her husband endured 3 miscarriages, 2 of which came in the second trimester with babies who had already been named.

“I can remember after we lost our little girl Liv, I began to look for resources to help bridge my grief to a road to healing,” she said. “I struggled to find a book that had a hopeful ending or an applicable set of tools to use during our grief journey.”

This is when she decided she needed to write the book she had been searching for.

“Inside Out Upside Down” is Murphy’s story, where she describes what her life felt like during those recurrent losses.

During the pandemic and after her losses, Murphy journaled.

“I had no other way to release my pain,” she said. “Pages from that journal appear in my book during the chapters where I revisit the losses we faced. I hope that as others read my story, they can find peace in their journey and use practical responses that will help them heal.”

Just when she said things were turning

gets everybody working together,” Benjamin said.

To start, the school opted to open the program to select groups showing the most need for homework assistance. This included families in the school’s English Language Learner program.

The program also is aimed at helping families that may not have the digital literacy skills to help their students throughout the year.

Amanda Glenn, Foust’s Family Resource Center Coordinator, said that the first night, students and families continued to come in, ask for help, and learn both the lesson and the tools to accomplish the homework.

“Sometimes parents don’t quite understand how Google Classroom or some of these computer programs work, and it’s a good opportunity for them to get in the building for a positive experience,” she said.

Glenn and Benjamin noted that they hope to open the diner to all students as they grow the program. Benjamin said the school will keep track of the student’s performance to validate the program’s efforts.

After assisting with homework, Foust provides a meal for the families before they head out. Benjamin said they also hope to get the community more involved with the Homework Diner through volunteering or providing food.

around, Murphy’s mother died in a car wreck on January 3, 2022.

“That shook my world again and caused me to put this book on hold for the next 2 years because suddenly I felt like, “What do I even know about grief?”

When she decided to finish the book, Murphy said she wanted to provide the audience with a combination of practical tips, raw and real thoughts, and hope for a better day.

In her book, Murphy includes her favorite scriptures that helped sustain her faith that this season was not how her story would end.


“My mom is Andrea, the graphic designer for Owensboro Parent magazine! For the Kids Takeover issue I got to take over by drawing all the pictures in the kids section!

I love drawing and I want to be an artist when I grow up. I am a first grader at Deer Park and I love school! I also love learning everything about space, beach naps and Taylor Swift!”

“We have all lost something — a job, our dreams, a relationship, finances, or someone we love,” Murphy said. “While the scenarios are all very unique, the road to healing is paved with some of the same steps of taking one day at a time. I am so thankful for the tough road I traveled because today I can share a message of hope with others.”

LIVI WETHINGTON 1st Grade, Deer Park Elementary

April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 9

Brandon Brooks



I am the principal at College View Middle School. My wife, Lauren, and I have two kids, Haddon (10) and Evie (7). We enjoy spending time as a family whether that be taking trips, playing games, sports, fishing, or anything fun. We are full throttle with the demands of sports and extracurricular activities. I also may have a slight obsession with collecting sneakers.


By leaning on my faith. I always strive to devote more time to my faith, which keeps me grounded and moving in a positive direction. I’ve realized that my faith is the key element to helping me be the best version of myself so I can be a good role model to children. Selfcare is vital and I look to achieve this by attending to my physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. I enjoy exercise/working out to help with recharging. By staying healthy and fit I’m able to be active with my kids and it helps me counter the stressors of my career. I have to set boundaries, especially with email notifications. I prioritize my family time and love coaching my kids’ baseball/softball teams. It is my escape.


As an educator over the last 15 years there are some pieces of advice that I have found valuable. Be present with your kids, listen to them, communicate

with them, and let them know they are worthy of your attention. Be consistent and patient. Eyes are always watching how you react and respond. Lead by example and model behaviors you want to instill in your child. Be involved but also allow opportunities for your child to be independent. Life skills are essential, especially empathy. Show grace toward yourself and understand it is normal to second guess your decisions. This parenting thing is quite difficult. Lastly, take in each moment and make some memories!


Without getting into too much detail, as a principal and dad, I get to be who I needed when I was younger. Everything I do as a dad and school leader revolves around this belief. My upbringing taught me compassion and empathy for those whose circumstances are out of their control. I have a career where I get to connect with students and be a positive role model. I really enjoy working with kids and I get to do this around the clock. There is no greater joy than to watch a child achieve even the smallest feat and know that you have played a part in that.

It is ok for your child to fail and make mistakes. We can use all circumstances as a teachable moment. We should help them build resiliency and gain confidence when they face adversity. Celebrate their accomplishments and minimize their failures. Grace and kindness go a long way as we are all human. If I ever have an interaction with your child I will do my absolute best to make them feel awesome!

Photo by Jamie Plain

Keeping it Real



Let’s prepare the kids who are going to take over the world.

Kids are taking over Owensboro Parent magazine this month, and it’s always interesting and fun to see their creative advertising designs and read their articles.

Children have so much to teach us if we are willing to learn.

I am always a little perturbed when I hear people saying things about “kids these days.” I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of examples yourself:

›› Kids just sit around and stare at video games these days.

›› Kids don’t know how to entertain themselves these days.

›› Kids don’t play outside these days.

›› Kids are spoiled these days.

›› Kids are disrespectful these days.

›› Kids don’t know the value of hard work these days.

›› Kids can’t even write cursive these days.

I’m sure you’ve probably seen this quote before, but it’s worth repeating: “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

Who said that? Yep, good old Socrates, more than 2,000 years ago.

The point is, every generation considers themselves to be ideal citizens, and those “whippersnappers” are not measuring up. But let’s set that concept aside for the moment, and look at it another way.

Here’s the deal:

Kids will take over only as much as adults will hand over.

Think about that.

If we, as adults, are concerned that kids are sitting around staring at video games and screens all day, first of all, why are we allowing them so much access to technology? Take the devices away and engage your children or grandchildren in “real” activities. Of course, this requires us adults to also unplug, so maybe that’s why this doesn’t happen as often as it should.

So kids aren’t outdoors as much as we were? If for whatever reason you don’t have access to a yard of your own, Owensboro is blessed with an abundance of parks and outdoor recreation spaces. If work and other obligations prevent

parents or grandparents from taking kids, reach out to your kids’ friends’ families and try to schedule trade-offs: You take the kids to the park this afternoon, and I’ll take them walking on the Greenbelt this weekend.

If kids are disrespectful and spoiled, the first place to look for solutions is in the mirror. What lessons are kids learning from our examples? How do we talk about other people? How do we react when someone zips into that parking place ahead of us? Are we proud of the messages we post on social media?

If kids can’t read or write cursive, do math “the right way,” bake a cake, change a tire, or any of the other things we imagine we excelled at as children – teach them. Not only will the child learn a new skill, but he or she will also learn that you value spending meaningful time with them, which might be the best lesson of all.

If you want to grow a garden, you don’t just toss a handful of seeds out the back door and assume the sun and rain will take care of the rest. No, you have to get out there and do a little digging, get your hands dirty, pull some weeds, do some mulching, add some fertilizer, and really invest time and energy.

Kids are the same – except even more.

So as we celebrate all the amazing kids who have taken over this issue, let’s think about ALL the kids who are going to take over the world … and let’s provide the guidance, support and encouragement they need to succeed. OP

12 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024

If I Were the Mayor of Owensboro for the Day

It’s the annual kids’ takeover edition and the Johnson boys are ready to wow you with their general knowledge and humor. I type what they say and do minimal editing on these articles.

I’ll set the scene. It’s a Monday night. We are in the kitchen. I bring out my computer as the kids eat their nutritious PB&J sandwiches for dinner. I decided about a week ago that I would pose them with one question – What would you do if you were the Mayor of Owensboro for the day? I had them thinking about this for a week or so, and I knew Henry had some big ideas. I decided to let him go first purely based on the fact he was already pacing up and down the kitchen floor, rubbing his hands together as he prepared to give me the details of his new government structure.


First everybody would want to get rid of me because I’m 9 years old. But I’d stay, and I would make people happy by focusing more on Uptown. I would do this by fixing the potholes in Uptown.

places so transportation and getting cargo would be faster. I would make it so every crosswalk instead of being a few lines on the road, it would be a bridge that goes up sixteen feet for people to walk on. That would make it safer for people and faster for cars.

adopt all of the animals in the animal shelter and they could sleep in my bed with me.

I was very proud of Henry on this one! We might have a future politician on our hands!

I’d make new jobs for sand diggers. They dig up sand and when they find moisturized sand, they throw it in a squisher, which separates sand and water and turns it into clean water. Then we would have more jobs and more clean water.

I’d make more trains and more ways from the Ohio River to other

After doing that, I would call my secret service agents to get me a banana split. Instead of going to school I’ll go to middle school classes. At the end of the day, I will tell my secret service agents to block all the people that want to be Mayor in Owensboro so I can stay Mayor. After that I’d lay in my bed that is 200 feet wide and 200 feet long and

I then moved on to Simon, who was listening to everything Henry said. I posed the same question to Simon. His answer might surprise you.


If I was a painter, everything I would paint is tacos and for everybody in the world. I would make a lot of money and I would give it out to people that are homeless. And uh, I would paint everything in the house and in the backyard. And in my kitchen and my room too. People wouldn’t like me because I’m just six, I would make paintings for people and make Domino’s pizza better. And I would make people have one law they could break and it’s going over the speed limit. But only by a little bit.

(He held up his little fingers and showed me how much a little bit is.)

Simon then let me know he was finished with his part. It had been a long day and he needed to rest. His brain was tired of thinking.

Another year, another takeover. Thanks to Owensboro Parent for providing my boys with this fantastic opportunity. Have a great one! OP

14 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024
full-time working mom to two little boys, wife to Logan, and part-time writer. Her pieces have been featured in Parents, Today Parents and PopSugar Moms. You can follow her blog at HashtagMomFail.com!

Making it


April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 15
Photo by Jamie Plain



›› M&Ms (pastel)

›› Waffle Pretzels

›› White candy melts


›› Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

›› Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a single layer of pretzels on the parchment paper. (You can do as many as you’d like, but the more you do at once, the bigger chance of the candy melts firming back up before you finish. I recommend around 10-12.)

›› Place one candy melt on each pretzel.

›› Put the pan in the oven and bake until the candy has melted (typically around 3-5minutes).

›› Put one M&M in the middle of the pretzel, then six surrounding the middle to make a flower shape.

›› Let the candy melts firm before serving. (You could place them in the fridge for about 10min to speed up the process.) OP

RECIPE AND PHOTO BY JAMIE PLAIN Jamie Plain is a nationally published culinary and commercial photographer working as a full-time staff photographer for Tanner Publishing. She has a knack for making tasty food and pretty art. See more of her portfolio at jaastudios.com.
April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 17

Explore the Outdoors with this Nature Collector

Spring is a wonderful time to get outside and discover the beauty of nature. As the weather gets warmer, flowers bloom, leaves turn green, and colors pop up all around. Go on a nature walk and collect treasures from your outdoor adventure using this fun collector!


›› Take a stroll outside and observe the signs of spring. Look for blooming flowers, budding leaves, and any other interesting plants you find.

›› Discuss the beauty of the season with your kids and encourage them to choose flowers, leaves, or small plants for their nature collector.


›› Repurposed cardboard, any size

›› Crayons, markers or paint

›› Scissors

›› Sharpened Pencil


›› Find a piece of plain cardboard. (We repurposed a Rolling Pin donut box!) A flap cut from a larger box would be a perfect size for young learners.

›› Use a pencil to help the kids draw an animal or creature on the cardboard. It could be a spring creature, their favorite animal, or even a vase.

›› Choose markers, crayons, or paint to color their design. Let your imagination run wild!

›› You can use scissors to cut out the

animal shape from the cardboard or leave it square like ours.

›› Use a pencil to poke holes through the cardboard in or around the animal shape. Make as many holes as you want, placing them no more than an inch or so apart. These holes are where you'll keep treasures from your nature walk.

›› Now you have a fantastic nature collector to remember your springtime adventure. Hang it up and enjoy the beauty of the season every day. OP

WRITTEN BY ASHLEY WEDDING Ashley is the editor of Owensboro Parent Magazine. She enjoys everyday adventures with her husband, Drew, and their three kids, Avery, Reed and Mason.

by Jamie



April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 19
Photo by Jamie Plain

Camryn Schroader

Camryn is a 6-year-old with a heart for others. According to her parents, Jonathan and Randa, Camryn loves her family, friends, and Jesus.

Although the Schroaders live in Owensboro, Camryn attends kindergarten at Beaver Dam Elementary School. Jonathan is principal of Ohio County Middle School, while Randa is a registered nurse team leader at Deaconess Gateway Hospital on the Neurosurgical unit. They have a Yorkiepoo named Daisy.

So, what does Camryn love to do when she's not conquering kindergarten? Well, you can find her kicking it on the soccer field, cheering her heart out, and flipping her way through gymnastics. Camryn loves to visit Disney World and one of her favorite activities is playing dress up in her princess dresses.

Now, let's talk essentials. What are the three things Camryn simply can't live without? According to her parents, that would be stuffies (stuffed animals), chips, and her iPad.

We asked her parents, how do you sum up Camryn in a few words? They said: loving, caring, fun, smart, and a little sassy.

But the best part? Camryn is beyond excited about being our OP Cover Kid! Well, that excitement is contagious – because we're thrilled to have Camryn be the face of this Kids Takeover issue! OP

Sponsored By

April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 21

Trailblazing Tigers

How West Louisville Elementary School’s cheer program is forging their own path

As homegrown as the crops that surround it, West Louisville Elementary School is a unique place. Lovingly referred to as the “new school” by many within the community, the original West Louisville Elementary was founded in 1937. The newer building constructed just off of Highway 56 was built in 2011.

Home of the “tigers,” some 300+ students fill the hallways each day. Many of those students are now part of a successful new cheer program, the first elementary-level to compete competitively in Daviess County Public Schools history.

The groundbreaking competitive team added in 2023 stemmed from a

school club created in 2022. Before the program was started, co-head coach Brittney Edge noticed an interest in cheer as some of the students would practice cheerleading during recess, she said. The eagerness the younger students had gave her the idea to bring a program to the school.

“The kids really inspired me to get involved,” Edge said. “I felt like they needed extracurricular activities, and other options. Options that keep them focused and determined.”

Together Edge, along with DCPS employees Natalie Clatterbuck and Erinn Williams, launched the first ever Tiger Spirit Squad, which ultimately developed into a competitive team that

would claim a region championship, and a ranking of 6th at Kentucky Association of Pep Organization Sponsors State competition this past December. Surpassing all expectations, the program has evolved into something much more than cheerleading.

“I think my favorite aspect of coaching has been watching the confidence build within each and every one of our cheerleaders,” Coach Natalie Clatterbuck said. “I hope this cheer program also inspires other elementary schools to start their own, and eventually bring more sports/clubs into our school system.”

Composed of 18 cheerleaders, grades 2-5, many of the athletes on the tiger cheer roster, had never cheered before joining the team.

“It’s pretty remarkable, witnessing these kids transform,” Coach Erinn Williams said. “They not only have grown athletically but they have built character too. They are leaders within our school community now, and our cheer program has really fostered a sense of pride within each of them.”

Together, Edge, Clatterbuck, and Williams, along with the support of Principal Nathan Satterly, established a program that is hopefully here to stay at WLES.

Essentially the cheer program not only provides a quality extracurricular activity for students enrolled at West Louisville, but it also helps foster talent for DCPS feeder schools.

“My passion for cheer and my

22 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024

daughter Marley, a third grader at WLES, inspired me to get on board,” Coach Natalie Clatterbuck said. “We have had so much fun together and learned so much this season! I never expected our squad to go to state, but these kids have earned their place, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. I’m already looking forward to next year!”

When asked about what made WLES cheer worthwhile, Coach Brittany Edge noted that the outcome has far outweighed the time given to volunteer.

“Watching these students blossom, the confidence they’ve developed, in my opinion it has carried over into every aspect of their lives,” Edge said. “The parents see it, teachers comment on it,

and other students notice it as well. I am so happy to get to be a part of that.”

The WLES cheer program will continue and tryouts are set this spring for the 2024-2025 season. Students in grades 2-5 are encouraged to try out and participate. The tiger cheer squad practices weekly after school and has plans to attend cheer workshops and camps next season to further improve their skill set. Athletes who make the team are provided uniforms, practice gear, and multiple opportunities to perform throughout the school year prior to competition.

The West Louisville Elementary School cheerleading team is currently the reigning Region 3 Elementary Game Day champions, and ranked 6th

at KAPOS State in a division that hosted 11 elementary schools from across the state.

Coach Erinn Williams is optimistic about the future.

“Ultimately I think it really showcases how incredible our students are, and it encourages our kids to take pride in their school,” Williams said. “We have a chant within one of our routines that states, ‘West is the best.’ Clearly that phrase is accurate, our students, staff, parents, and community are the absolute best and their support has been invaluable! Who knows what next season will bring, one thing is certain though, we are ready!” OP

April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 23
WRITTEN BY ERINN WILLIAMS Erinn Williams adores her hubby, cats, hardback church hymnals and a hot mess of fried okra. She’s new in town, trading in mountains and streams for soybeans and burgoo, and refers to herself as “a little hillbilly in a great big world.”

Of Life: The Rollercoaster

Two Local Leaders Inspire Hope Through Children’s Book

In Owensboro, a collaboration between two local leaders resulted in the creation of a children’s book designed to empower and inspire young minds.

Jody Hulsey and Emmy Woosley, local community leaders and co-authors of “Of Life: The Rollercoaster,” say they hope their book inspires hope and resilience among young readers.

Photo by Jamie Plain



The project saw its inception about five years ago while Jody was serving on the board of a local nonprofit, Girls Inc. of Owensboro. He came across a memorable piece of art crafted by an 8-year-old girl. The artwork, a 3D roller coaster made with construction paper and adorned with vibrant colors, served as a visual representation of the girl’s emotions and challenges she faced both at home and school.

The roller coaster, he said, started as purple, which represented happy moments where she was feeling good, and blue, moments where she felt down or was facing one of life’s challenges. It rose and fell and twisted and turned with each color representing her emotions and all of life’s various challenges she had faced, but the roller coaster still ended in purple, a testament to her enduring optimism.

“It had all these different colors on it, and it was going up and down and around,” Jody said. “I was just really inspired by her creativity.”

Inspired by the girl’s artwork and her story, Jody decided to write a poem, penning the same title of the girl’s artwork, “Of Life: The Roller Coaster.”

“When she created the work of art, on the bottom right, she was going to call it the roller coaster of life, but she ran out of room. So she wrote, the roller coaster, and then wrote, of life, above it. And I just thought that,

in itself, was poetic. So that was the title of the poem,” he said.

This poem, coupled with Emmy’s expertise as a director and storyteller, laid the foundation for what would eventually become a children’s book. Jody was in a play that Emmy was directing, and one night, Jody said he was telling Emmy about the girl and her roller coaster and shared the poem he wrote.

Emmy said she was so captivated and moved by the roller coaster and the poem and thought the concept would work well as a children’s book. And so, together, they meticulously storyboarded the narrative, weaving together themes of hope, courage, and the power of resilience in the face of adversity and enlisted the talent of local artist Sarah Truman to illustrate the book and bring their vision to life.

Sarah’s illustrations, Emmy said, breathed vibrancy into the story and captured the essence of the young protagonist, Evelli, and her journey.

“We sat down with her and showed her the pictures that we had with the young girl and her actual roller coaster and then shared with her the storyboard that I created,” Emmy said. “Sarah just really took … all that inspiration and our feelings about how inspiring this young girl was, and she just elevated it to the next level with her illustrations.”

The whole effort, Emmy said, was a collaborative one with no big egos. It was a five-year process where both Jody and Emmy had to

continue pushing to get the story out there and touching back to it, even in the midst of their own roller coasters.

In the time it took to complete the book, both Jody and Emmy were taking on some of those purple and blue moments themselves, whether that be children, careers, school, or even family illness. But that, Emmy said, is a testament alone to how powerful and inspiring the girl’s project was. It kept them going and motivated them to complete the project.


Though it may have taken some time to complete, the finished project was everything that Jody and Emmy imagined when they started off on their book-writing journey.

“Of Life: The Rollercoaster” follows the main protagonist, Evelli, who is portrayed as hopeful, courageous, creative and optimistic. And while she is inspired by the young girl who created the original construction paper roller coaster, the character is meant to take on a persona all her own.

The story follows Evelli as she takes a ride on her roller coaster, through all the ups and downs and twists and turns, and she invites readers to go alone for the ride with her, sharing all of her happy and sad moments, but also her optimism, her bravery and her encouragement for readers that, even though things

April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 25

can get tough, there is always hope.

“She actually introduces herself, ‘Hi, I’m Evelli, and just like you, my life is not perfect. It’s full of purple, pink and blue.’ And so she’s inviting the reader into her journey, which does get murky, but ends on a very positive note where she’s almost inviting other kids to come along with her,” Jody said.

The book even pays homage to Girls Inc. and the organization’s mantra, “Strong, Smart and Bold” as Evelli utters the affirmation to herself, and it helps her through her difficult times to remember that she, too, is strong, smart and bold, Jody said.

“It really follows that format that she set up in her construction paper rollercoaster of different colors and kind of feeling maybe hopeless … but then remembering that she has the power to be optimistic,” Emmy said.

Since the book was published, Jody and Emmy have had the opportunity to not just sell the book, but to present it and read it to children and provide it to schools for teachers to read to students as well. It has also inspired several classroom projects where students are encouraged to create their own construction paper roller coasters.

The reception, Emmy said, is more than they had hoped for, and it really does inspire optimism and hope for a lot of children that hear or read the story.

“One of my favorite times was when we were reading the story at the library. There’s a part in the book

where the character, Evelli, says, ‘Will this ever end?’ And there was a young boy in our story circle and he was like, ‘yes, it will,’ “ Emmy said. “As long as you think toward the good colors and the brightness and the light, you have that power to help influence your own outlook.”

As Evelli’s roller coaster journey unfolds, readers – both children and

even adults – are reminded of their own inner strength and resilience, instilling a sense of hope and optimism for the future.

“Of Life: The Roller Coaster” can be purchased online through Amazon, or locally at Crazy Me Gifts & Apparel, Kidstop Children’s Boutique, and Windy Hollow Biscuit House. OP

26 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024
Netherton is the Community Engagement and Marketing Specialist for RiverValley Behavioral Health. She is a local Kentuckian from Frankfort with a journalism degree from the University of Kentucky. She spends her free time roller skating at local parks, snuggling with her dog, and caring for her many houseplants.

We are excited to reveal our 2024 Kids Takeover! For this special section, we asked our local elementary schools to pick outstanding student authors to write articles for our magazine. With help from their incredible teachers, these students came up with and wrote each article you will read 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!














Designed by: Kylee Dempsey AGE: 10 3604 Wathen’s Crossing (270) 684-6144 owensboroallergy.com Riley Wilkerson Age 11
Designed by: Aubriella Mendez AGE: 11 Designed by: Navya Patel 1900 Southeastern Pkwy Owensboro, KY (270) 684-8954 www.dctfcu.com (270) 685-5777 OurFamilyDerm.com

Designed by:

CeCe Gesser

AGE: 9

1201 Pleasant Valley Rd.

(270) 417-2000 | owensborohealth.org

Beth Thompson Age 9


Designed by:

900 Old Hartford Rd. (270) 684-6144


Designed by: Nolan

2705 Breckenridge St. (270) 684-9580


Briana Daniels AGE: 11
Yonts AGE: 11
101 Daviess St. (270) 687-2787 | RiverParkCenter.org Designed by: Catherine Harris
10 McKenna Rafferty Age 11
Designed by: Emily Wathan AGE: 10 Designed by: Hallie Wilhite AGE: 11 3245 Mt Moriah Ave, Ste 10 2804 Frederica St www.mercyurgentcare.com 3030 New Hartford Rd. (270) 684-3201 www.willsanimal.org



1100 Walnut Street (270) 689-6500 | www.rvbh.com
Matha Nuamhoihkiim
Horn Age 9


2730 Frederica St. (270) 686-0001 www.lancecojewelers.com

2020 Frederica St. (270) 684-6144 www.dcplibrary.org

by: Ollie Reames AGE: 10
Designed by: Madaua Aye AGE: 11
2925 Wimsatt Ct. E (800) 685-2085 libertyfinancial.com Bentley Johnson Age 11

My Papaw's Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a delicious recipe for chocolate chip cookies! Want cookies with crispy edges and a chewy center?

Then you've come to the right place! I have the perfect recipe for you.


The list of ingredients for delicious chocolate chip cookies.

• 1 cup of softened butter

• 1 cup of white sugar

• 1 cup of packed brown sugar

• 2 eggs

• 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

• 1 teaspoon of baking soda

• 2 teaspoons of hot water

• 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt

• 3 cups of all-purpose flour

• 2 cups of (semi) sweet chocolate chips

• 1 cup of chopped walnuts


Before beating the eggs and vanilla

into the butter, beat the butter and sugar together.

• Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to bater, along with salt.

Before mixing the baking soda into the mixture, ad hot water ot make the baking soda dissolve. In a SEPARATE bowl, mix together the flour, walnuts, and chocolate chips.


Here's the steps for creating these chocolate chip cookies!

• Gather all the ingredients needed, make sure your butter is softened and your eggs are room temperature.

• Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

• In a large bowl, beat butter, white sugar, and brown sugar and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.

• Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla.

• Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and walnuts.

• Drop 1⁄4 size spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

• Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are nicely browned, about 01 minutes.

• Cool on the baking sheets briefly (around 4-5 minutes) before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

• Store in an airtight container, or serve immediately and enjoy!

Thank you for reading and learning about my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe! If you make this recipe, I really hope you love it like I do.

CHARLEY RAY Charley Ray is a 5th grade student at Newton Parrish. She likes to draw and read fantasy books.

My Dream Vacation

My dream vacation is to take a car with my family down to the airport in Nashville & then hop on a plane to the Rockies. Next we rent skis and go skiing for a day. Then we take a plane down to Nevada & go Pronghorn hunting. After we take an uber to the Red Wood Forest. At the Red Wood Forest we take a horseback ride through the forest then we take a picture with the tallest tree in the world. Next we take an uber to San Francisco where we rent a sailboat and sail to Hawaii. After we arrive at the big island of Hawaii where we go deer hunting. The next day we go and see a volcano! That night we go to a Hawaiian festival and have native food and learn the dances. Then we go swimming on the beach. After that we go spearfishing and snorkeling in the coral reef. Then we go deep sea fishing. The next few days we sail back to San Francisco then take a plane to The Grand Canyon there we go camping and cook Pronghorn meat. After that we take a plane home. So that’s my dream vacation.

I love to go on vacation, especially during Christmas time. I’m going to share a vacation place that I would love to go to. One of my dream vacation spots is Dubai. Dubai is so cool and pretty and it is known for its tallest building, Burj Khalifa. Burj Khalifa is 828 meters tall. I really want to go there just to see the tallest building in the world light up during the Christmas season. Also, they have a pretty fountain show and it lights up too.

Some places that I would like to go to besides Burj Khalifa are the Dubai Miracle Garden, the Emirates Palace, the Dubai Gold Souk, the Palm Jumeirah, Aquaventure Waterpark, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, and Ski Dubai. Other things to do in Dubai include riding camels, visiting museums, and staying at very fancy hotels. I would also love to go to the Dubai Golden Frame - this is the world’s largest picture frame. Everything in Dubai is very gorgeous and cheap. Their shopping mall is the greatest mall ever, it’s so pretty inside! Inside the mall, you

can visit an aquarium and even go ice skating!!!

Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates or UAE. It has many types of food like Khuzi, (it’s made of roasted lamb served on a bed of spicy rice and raisins to top it, vegetables and nuts too). This is crazy because my mom makes something similar to Khuzi, only hers is much sweeter.

So, one day I want to go to Dubai to see the beauty that everyone else sees. I would love to bring along some of my friends, because I think they would enjoy it too!!

FARMIN MOHAMMAD AYAS is a fourth grade student at Burns Elementary School. She and her family are from Malaysia. She enjoys watching and playing sports, such as volleyball and tennis. CANNON WHITESIDE is a 5th grader at Heritage Christian School. He enjoys football, hunting, and fishing.

My Favorite Outdoor Adventure

My favorite outdoor adventure was a waterfall hike then a mountain coaster in the Smoky Mountains. The Trail was 5 miles long and we talked to lots of people along the way. It was really scary when we got toward the top of the mountain because it was so high up and there were warning signs along the way. When we got to the waterfall I couldn’t believe my eyes. The waterfall was beautiful and to think that God made that really amazed me. The waterfall was huge and went half way down the mountain

into a creek. My whole family ended up climbing down the mountain into the creek. We swam in the creek for a long time and took a lot of photos and played catch for awhile. Then my siblings and I went and stuck our heads under the waterfall and were freezing cold. So we went on top of the waterfall and ate sandwiches. The view from where we were sitting was absolutely amazing. After it was time to go we went to a place called Goats on the Roof and it actually had goats on the roof. There was also a

giant mountain coaster that I went on. It ended up taking 10 minutes just to get up the mountain. They said it was around 10 thousand feet above sea level. When I got to the top it took a loop and sped down really fast and ended up turning sideways. The really scary part wasn’t the height, but that it was a single person coaster. I would totally do it again. The view was absolutely breathtaking and the coaster was so much fun. And that is my favorite outdoor adventure.

EASTON TONG is a 5th grader at Heritage Christian School. He enjoys playing soccer, hunting, and fishing.

My sister, Sydney Ebelhar, has Down syndrome. She is currently 16, and is a Freshman at Apollo highschool. She loves to watch Disney, especially Elena of Avalor. She loves that show, and it’s okay to like it because it’s a banger. She is my favorite sister, and my only one. I love her so much and will always protect her from bullies.

What is Down syndrome? Down syndrome is where you have an extra 21st chromosome. People with Down syndrome normally have smaller ears and larger tongues. That’s why sometimes you might see them sticking their tongue out at you. They aren’t doing it on purpose, it’s just too big to

My Sister

fit in their mouth. They also might have some kind of thing to fidget with, to help with sensory issues. For example, my sister has this shoelace that she found around the house, and now she brings it everywhere. Seriously, we don’t leave the house without it.

Something you need to know about people with Down syndrome, is they’re just like everyone else. They can do the same things you can do! My sister is learning how to cook and her favorite thing to make is chocolate chip cookies. I know that it might not be a big deal for some people, especially if they are 16, but it sometimes takes her a little longer to learn these things. She also just

learned how to dress herself! Another thing you need to know is peoplefirst language. People-first language is where you say the person before their disability/diagnosis. For example, you wouldn’t say Down syndrome girl, you would say a girl with Down syndrome. It’s considered rude to say Down syndrome girl.

I love my sister so sooo much. She is so special to me. As I said, she’s my only sister, so I have to take care of her. Even if she has Down syndrome, she still is capable of so many things! If you ever see someone with a disability, just smile and wave, they are just like you.

ADDYSON EBELHAR is a 5th grader at Owensboro Catholic 4-6 Campus. She enjoys drawing, baking (especially cookies), and listening to Taylor Swift.

A Dog's Point of View

Have you ever wondered what a dog was thinking? Well you’re in luck because today you’re going to hear a story from my dog’s point of view. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the story.

Today when I woke up my human was talking about her friend coming over tomorrow. She was cleaning and doing her chores and I could tell she was happy and I was happy too. We don’t get visitors very often. Wait! What if she brings french fries! Ooh and Sausage, and burgers, and steak—What did my human just say? I think she said that her and her friend are going to get HOT DOGS! Is she going to cook me? No No she would never cook me. Right? I mean the settlers in Jamestown ate Dogs and Horses during the starving time so… No! She would never cook me. I am a loyal, handsome, perfect dog. I mean sure I have some minor little accidents–but only sometimes—I’m

A Rock Climbing Adventure

Hi, my name is Isabella and let me tell you about a crazy time. If you’ve ever heard of rock climbing, you will love my story. One time I was at the Grand Canyon and I went to a place close to there called “Flagstaff Climbing” and I got to go rock climbing. When I got to the rock climbing place I was super excited because they were actually going to show me how to climb a mountain. My mom and sister were not

too excited because they heard that the Grand Canyon makes its own weather and it is often windy. Because my mom was scared, my sister had to go with me and she was not happy about that at all because she is super scared of falling.

When we arrived there it was pretty cool to see professional rock climbers. Most people think it is a little scary, but as long as you pay attention you will be just fine. While they were explaining

it to us they used us as an example to show the others how to do it. It was super cool because they were so nice to us, so nice that my sister did not end up being scared anymore. I would most definitely recommend going here.

Me and my family have done a lot of things in my lifetime but this is by far my favorite outdoor adventure. We have made so many memories and this one is the most memorable by far.

AYLA ROBERTS is a 5th grader at Meadow Lands Elementary. In her free time you can find her golfing, cheering, or singing along with Taylor Swift at the top of her lungs. ISABELLA DUKES is a fourth grade student at Burns Elementary School. She loves art and sports, and is a member of the BES Academic Team.

Art for Mental Health

Did you know that art is fun and beneficial to mental health? I have always loved art because there are so many different types of art. There is drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, mosaic paper art, embroidery, cross stitch, and so much more. Art allows me to express my feelings and create beautiful things. My mother has always kept art supplies around the house and encouraged me to try different types of art. Art allows me to express myself in many different ways such as use of color and shape. I enjoy embroidery, drawing, painting, and gem art. The best thing about art is that you don’t have to be good at it to have lots of fun.

My favorite form of art is making crafts. Currently my art teacher is teaching me embroidery. I think embroidery is so much fun and useful. I’ve learned to thread a needle, sew, how to backstitch, satin stitch, and a running stitch. I’m currently working on embroidering a pillow in art class and embroidering a flower scene at home. This is something I will never forget.

I also love drawing and creating pictures using construction paper. Art allows me to use my imagination and turn small pieces of scrap paper into a beautiful piece of art. With art there are no rules and so many colors to choose from. You are free to let your imagination run wild.

Art is not only fun but beneficial in other ways. According to an article on the AMA website called, Art for Mental Health: The WellBeing Benefits of Practicing Art with Frank Clark, MD, there are several benefits to art. Some of the benefits of art include improved concentration, improved self-esteem, and reduced stress (AMA, 2023). This shows that art is not only fun but beneficial to one’s mental health.

GRACE GOERZ is a 5th grader at East View Elementary School. She plays softball and loves art.

A Day In My Life

Sit back, relax, and imagine a day in my life!

*Thanks to Mom, Friend 1, Friend 2, and Friend 3, and Mrs. Rose for playing “A Day In My Life”

Mom: Sydney! Wake up! It’s time for school!

Sydney: Five more minutes!!

Mom: No more minutes. Time to get up!

Sydney: Ugh, fine.

Narrator: Sydney gets up and gets dressed and goes downstairs to eat breakfast.

Sydney: Mom! Am I having cereal?

Mom: Nope. You’re having boiled eggs!

Sydney: Ok! That's one of my favorites!!

Narrator: Sydney eats and then brushes her teeth and gets her backpack and goes to school.

Sydney: Bye Mom! See you later!

Mom: Bye sweetie!

*Sydney’s mom drives back home to get ready for work*

Sydney:Hey guys!

Friend 1: Hey Sydney!

Friend 2: Sup. Friend 3: Hi Hi!!

Sydney: Do you guys want to play at rece*The teacher walks in*

Mrs. Rose: Alright everyone! Get ready to switch!

Everyone: Ughhhhhhhhhhh.

*The class switches to first block*

Narrator: At the end of the first block, the kids get to have a pizza party and play outside.

Sydney: I’m so thankful for such an awesome day!

That’s a day in my life!

Thank you for reading my play.

My Special Talent

My special talent to me is drawing and creating traditional art. I’d say I’m pretty good at drawing because I always get compliments about it and I even get called the ‘School Artist’ by a teacher when they see my drawings. I use pencils to make a base (circles- shapes, ect as a start), erase when mistakes happen, and use alcohol markers to outline and/or color the drawing, sometimes watercolor paint to color it too. When you draw, you make sure to have a pencil so you can erase lines and marks if you don’t like it or if it was an accident. I recommend drawing lightly if you’re making a base, rough base lines can be hard to get rid of if erasing! Start structuring (if you’re making a human or animal, maybe anything else if it seems like the best option) with a circle and try using a reference photo if available to get/see one. It can be tough for some people or may not really be their thing and hobby to do, but don’t feel so hopeless! Effort is key and you should always remember you can at least give an attempt as you’re not the only one who isn’t as good as others. Simple doodles are fine too, it’s still art and creative from your imagination. Don’t feel bad at insults to your hobby, they’re just not the same as you so keep going no matter what!! I’ve had a lot of improvement because of experience, and maybe it can be your special talent or you can improve at what you love most in the future too!!

DAH MU is a 5th grader at Meadow Lands Elementary. Along with being an exceptionally gifted artist, Dah likes listening to music and playing with her cats.

SYDNEY CONTRERAS, a 4th grader at Tamarack Elementary, is involved in Academic Team and STLP. She loves drawing, arts and crafts, and playing VR.

How I Improved at Futbol

Hi, I am Japheth. I’m 9 years old and my BIG talent is that I play soccer. I try to play soccer every day, but I don’t call the sport soccer…I call it Futbol. I started playing Futbol ever since I could walk. I always had a ball near me. Although I wasn’t on a team, I always kicked a ball around for fun. Then, when I got really interested, my dad signed me up for the city league. My dad and I practiced all summer long. When the season was finally about to start, there weren’t enough coaches so I couldn’t play. I still kept practicing as much as I could, and when I finally got on a team, I was already trained so I was one of the best on the team. Practicing helped me a lot. I know this because in my first game I scored all of the goals for my team, but we still lost 3–4. I always wondered to myself why I was glued to the game and what got me glued to the game. I always came to the same conclusion; it was because I always had a ball around

against everyone and we wouldn’t lose without one. That season, the creator of the league was going to coach for the city team called Sportstutor United. We went against their team in the tournament and in the first half I scored a goal and tied them. That made a big difference, because their team was the

don’t know who’s watching. Practicing got me where I am, and so I try to do it as much as I can. Although I may not like practicing, it is a key to becoming the best player on the team, so I always tell myself, “Try your hardest because you never know who is watching.”

JAPHETH GARCIA , a fourth grader at Tamarack Elementary, is involved in futbol and academic team, as well as STLP. He loves helping others and learning new things.

Water Pollution in the Ohio River

Did you know that if you litter at Smuthers park it will end up going into the river? We need to stop pollution down by the river because it harms the animals. It messes up the fountain and it cancels the boat races.

Each year the boats used to line up to see who was the fastest but with all the junk in it which is not good for them. If you throw your trash into the river it

can stop special events like the boar race. Also littering can kill animals in the river. When you throw your trash on the ground it flies into the river and can get stuck on animals mouths and kill them. They can also mistake it for food and accidentally eat it which is not good for them.

We can stop this by throwing trash into the trash cans. Another way is maybe add concession stands at Smuthers park

so you don’t have to bring food. Finally you can take reusable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles.

These are some reasons why you should stop throwing your trash down by the river. It’s harming animals, stopping boat races and even making the fountain not work right. Start throwing your trash in trash cans if you haven’t been doing that yet.

ABEL SIMS is in the 3rd grade at Newton Parrish. He loves basketball, baseball, football, and swimming.

Things You Can Do to Help with Pollution

Splash! That’s the sound of 1 of the 8-9 million tons of plastic littered in the ocean each year. Did you know you can make a difference about pollution? You might not know what pollution is. Pollution is anything that makes the earth dirty and unhealthy. Land, air, and water are all affected by pollution. Some people think that plastic is Earth’s only pollution problem. Oil accidentally spilling into the sea, agriculture products like fertilizers and pesticides seeping into the soil, and even excess noise and light can pollute the environment. The main things you can do to help with pollution are reuse and recycle.


Reusing is one of my favorite ways to help stop plastic pollution because you can be so creative with what you make.

In an article by “FH” it says, “Make a hanging garden out of plastic bottles, or mount them on a garden wall. All you need are some scissors, twine, and a place to hang or mount them.” This shows a few ways you can reuse; you can let your creativity shine through with reusing. For example, I have created a bird feeder out of a milk jug. In conclusion, reusing is a great way to help the environment while being creative.


You may have thought that recycling is a very hard thing to do, but in reality it is really easy.

In an article by “Republic services” it gives you amazing tips on how you can recycle things and how you can do it. It says “Your recyclable items should be placed loose in the cart. No need to

that are hard and tedious.

Instead of using plastic bags the next time you go to the grocery take a reusable or paper bag.

In conclusion the ways you can stop pollution are quite simple and most times fun. Even though you may be a kid you should never let that interfere with the amazing things you can achieve. Although I am a kid trying to tackle a large problem (pollution) I never and will never give up the dream of a happy healthy world, and remember you can do great things.

Someone to Look Up To

Someone I look up to is president F.D.R. He proved that just because a man has polio and cannot walk does not mean that they can’t be the president of the United States of America. He served 12 years in office and he’s the reason we won WWII. He was also the president who got us through the great depression and carried us through many other crises

throughout American history. He was the only president to ever move with a wheelchair or crutches. This is the reason why I look up to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

EMBREY NELSON is a 5th grader at East View Elementary School. She loves to play volleyball and crochet.
NOLAN BURNS is a 4th grade student at Meadow Lands Elementary. He is a talented artist, avid video game player, and loves learning about all things U.S. Presidents!



nice breakfast that was fulfilling but it would also be light. With it I would usually drink some milk or water but some mornings I would drink a cup of coffee. Then I would go back upstairs and put on some leggings and a pullover along with some nike airs to go on a run up the road with my dog. Me and my dog would go on a 10 minute run and then we would go back to my house and take a shower. Then I would go up stairs and get ready for softball practice.

I would go to softball practice and do really well. I would hit a grand slam over the fence and then I would catch a ball and stop one of my teammates from getting a home run. I would then go to get my catching gear on and do really really really good at catching. I would then go home and on the way home I would stop at Caseys and get a piece of pizza and some chocolate covered raisins.

After that I would go home and change into my pajamas and read for about 30 minutes to an hour. I would read “Speak for me” and then I would put my slippers on and take my dogs outside to use the bathroom. I would let them be out for about 10 minutes. I would take them outside and then I would go back outside and see if any of my friends could come over. If they can not come over which is almost never I will play Soccer or Basketball or even a little more Softball.

If I had to have a perfect day it would be the day above. Including I would have a good day, the weather would be nice, I would have a good softball practice, and I would not be on any electronics for the whole day so my eyes and head would not hurt. That would be my perfect day.

AVA BOUTCHER is a 5th grade student at Meadow Lands Elementary. When she is not at school, she enjoys playing softball and making bracelets.

How to Make French Toast Sticks



A nice family recipe that is easy to make is homemade french toast sticks.

The first step is to chop up your bread. So you take any type of bread and chop them into how many pieces you want.

The second step is to make your batter.you make your batter by taking some eggs maybe 2 or 3, after you crack them put a half a cup of milk, 1 or 2 tbsp of cinnamon, 2 tbsp of Vanilla

The third step is to warm up the pan. You turn the stove on a little bit below medium then you take a slice of butter and move it around till it melts.

We are almost done with cooking it!

Next we have to cook it. So you take the pieces of bread and dip them one at a time in the batter and on to the pan but make sure the butter is all melted. Then you cook the bread on one side of it, then after you check the bottom and it looks like a nice golden color then you flip it and you do this until both of the sides are cooked then you do this for each one.

This is the last part! Decorating! You stack all your nice french toast sticks into a triangle shape, then you drizzle it with syrup and powdered sugar on top.

Then your delicious french toast sticks are made!

Someone that I would consider a hero or someone I admire or look up to would be my mom. One reason why I admire my mom or look up to her is because she always puts others before herself. She will never do stuff for herself until she does stuff for you and she’s just the best mom in the world. When I see my mom I think i’m the luckiest person alive because she’s everything you need in a mom. She has a really good sense of humor and she loves almost everybody. Another reason why I admire or look up to my mom is because she’s a very independent woman who hardly ever asks people to do anything for her. She practically does everything on her own and she doesn’t need anybody’s help at all. My mom is one of the best people you’ll ever meet and I know that for a fact she might be a little rude to me because she’s my mom but to everyone else she’s not she’ll always be polite to others. My third reason why I admire or look up to my mom is because she just makes me happy and everybody else happy everyday. She always has something or she does something to make their day. When my mom dances it’s one of the funniest things she does almost every day. My mom also shows me videos that make me laugh and her humor is just the best thing in the world. She’s the most calm person I’ve ever met. She hardly gets mad and when she does it’s because me or my sibling aren’t listening or were being mean to each other.

The Best Mom in the World GameFamilyNight



JESSICA PALOMARES is a 5th grade student at Meadow Lands Elementary. She spends most of her time playing soccer or hanging out with her cousins.

game night was Playing UNO because there are many different variations of it, It reduces stress, and anyone can play it!

One reason Uno is the best game night is because there are many variations of it: Flip, Mini, Dare, Show ‘em no mercy, All wild, and there’s even some versions with customizable wild cards. My favorite customizable card was “Tell an untold secret or draw 10 cards” Varied games can lead into more fun and confusion; but there are instructions to help.

A second reason is that family game night can reduce stress. Playing fun games (that usually last under half an hour) with your family can be extremely fun and builds a tiny bit more personality in yourself. The more personality, the easier it is to make friends along the way of life. Stress is a horrible thing and multiple things can help that such as therapy, breathing well, music, family game night and much more. So stay away from stress! (because i’ve had it myself)

The third and final reason for my favorite family game night being UNO is made for all family members! There is a limit of 10 people and you have to be 3 or older to play except it’s fun! Once you turn four you can have the funnest part of your life when you play UNO for the first time.

In Conclusion, UNO is the best game night because there are many different variations of it, It reduces stress, and anyone can play it. One experience i’ve had with my mom and me, which we were doing a race to seven wins, the score was 6-6 and my mom dealt the cards, so I went first, how it went was crazy: Reverse to me, Reverse to me, Reverse to me, Reverse to me, Skip, Skip, UNO! Play a card and I won the game. My mom couldn’t even go! Thanks for reading and have a good day!

DJ NAPIER is a 5th grader at East View Elementary School. He likes soccer and loves roller coasters. According to DJ, “The bigger the roller coaster the bigger the entertainment.”


Fun Things To Do in Owensboro

Imagine wanting to go somewhere but didnt know where because of the amount of fun things at places. My hometown Owensboro, has many fun things to do and this article is about three of those fun things to do here.

One of these fun things to do is to go to “The Museum Of Fine Art”. When you arrive at the museum you will notice a statue of a bull hand made by an artist. As you walk in the museum you will see a lot of hand made art. This museum is children friendly, and has fun arts and crafts that they can make. In my opinion

this museum is one of the reasons why you should come to Owensboro.

Another reason you should come to Owensboro is Smothers Park. At smothers you can trust that your kid will be safe as they play on the playground. Smothers is also by the Ohio River. You can sit on swinging benches while your child plays and enjoy the river. In my opinion, Smothers Park is another reason why you should come to Owensboro.

My third and final reason you should come to Owensboro is Escape Today.

Escape Today is an arcade and it has a lot of escape rooms to go in. You and your children would love this place and if they’re not old enough to go in the escape rooms they will surely love the arcade. In my opinion, Escape Today is another reason why you should come to Owensboro.

Overall these three reasons are why you should come to Owensboro. Tell your friends and family about these places.

AUBREY HUSK enjoys drawing, reading, and playing video games, especially MineCraft and Roblox. She is a 4th grade student at Meadow Lands Elementary.

Following Your Dreams

Do you have a dream to be an astronaut or some famous sports player? Hi, my name is Nolan Wellington, a fifth grader at East View elementary school and I’m going to tell you about the importance of following your dreams. Some reasons you should follow your dreams include: you can find more meaning in life, and you can find more about yourself.

One reason to follow your dreams is that you will find more meaning in life. “Studies show that living as your authentic self can help you find more meaning in life, among other benefits. People who refuse to follow their dreams of fear of what others think are missing out in life. Research has clearly shown that people are far more likely to regret what they didn’t do, than what they did.”

(Better Up 2022). This proves that you should follow your dreams because you can find your true self and live a happier life. Overall, following your dreams is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and will make you an overall better person in life.

Another reason you should follow your dreams is that you can learn more about yourself. “You’ll learn something about yourself and be happier because of it. You might even discover a new dream because of it. You’ll step out of your comfort zone. You’ll try new things, gain new skills, and become a well-rounded person.” (Better Up, 2022). This is important because following your dreams will lead you to be a better person in life, and being a better person in life will bring you to

great friends. Overall, following your dreams is a very good choice, and will often bring greater things than just that dream.

Overall, following your dreams will be a great choice in life. Most people who follow their dreams will live an amazing life even if they fail because they don’t regret the decision of following their dreams. Most people give up because they say stuff like I could never be able to do that, or I’ll never be good enough to do that, I’m just an ordinary person, think about Neil Armstrong he was just an ordinary person too. Some people don’t care that they failed because of the great journey that they experienced. So remember don’t give up, keep trying.

NOLAN WELLINGTON is a 5th grader at East View Elementary School. He likes sports in general, but baseball is his favorite sport, and he enjoys playing video games.

My Hero

Have you been told “It will be alright” or “keep trying”, well I have heard those sayings a lot from my Uncle Joey Bayer who has been with me through the hard times. My Uncle is a retired Sergeant Major in the army( of the state of Kentucky) he is one of the kindest people I have ever met. In this writing I will be telling how my Uncle is my hero because he is kind hearted, optimistic, and comforting.

To begin with, my Uncle is my hero because he is a very kind hearted man. For example he has always wanted me and my siblings to be happy and to

love one another, so when me and my siblings get into an argument he is there to make sure we come to an agreement. This is showing that my Uncle wants me and my family to live in harmony because that is what he wants most in life. In conclusion my Uncle has always been a kind hearted person and will always want what is best for my family.

In addition, my Uncle is my hero because he is optimistic. For example, he always wants me to look on the bright side of obstacles , and when I feel down about something he is there to help me learn from my mistakes. This is showing that he will always help me see the good in things.

Finally, my Uncle is my hero because he is comforting. For example, he will always try to make me happy when I

feel upset about something, or when I felt insecure about my haircut because they cut my hair to short . He was there to tell me I was beautiful and should love myself like he does. In conclusion my Uncle is my hero because he will always try to comfort me in every way possible.

Overall, my Uncle is my hero because he is so kind hearted and he is optimistic, also comforting. Your hero doesn’t have to be kind hearted or optimistic, they don’t even have to be the one that makes you feel comfortable. A hero is someone who is there when you need them and will help you feel like you belong. I know that when I am with my hero I think I can do anything. In conclusion this is why my Uncle Joey is my hero.

Fun Facts About My Hometown

Hi my name is Bronwyn Stiff and I’m going to tell you some facts about my hometown, Owensboro, Kentucky. In Owensboro we have the Bluegrass Museum that has a lot of bluegrass instruments and history behind bluegrass music. For example, it has information like how bluegrass originated in Kentucky. Owensboro has the River Park Center where famous plays like The Nutcracker happen. The River Park Center also does field trips and offers a bunch of fun activities to the schools. Owensboro has a park called Smothers Park. It is a nice place for strolls, picnics, and birthday parties. It’s also a fun place to hang out by the Ohio River. Smothers Park also holds a block party type thing called “Friday After Five.” There are food trucks and fun toys along with jewelry sold there. Here

BRONWYN STIFF is a 4th grader at Meadow Lands Elementary. She loves gymnastics, the arts, and traveling with her family.

RIA PATEL is a 5th grader at East View Elementary School. She likes reading books and her favorite subject is math.

The Owensboro Health NICU Reunion is a heartwarming event that brings together families who have experienced the journey of having their babies cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. One such family is Katy and Jason Harrison, who had twins Eva and Jay in the NICU back in 2011. Katy shared her emotional story, starting from the challenging pregnancy where she had frequent ultrasounds to monitor the babies’ health. At 32 weeks, a routine visit turned into an unexpected delivery, marking the beginning of a five-week NICU stay with newborns weighing just 2 pounds, 11 ounces and 3 pounds, 13 ounces.

Despite the initial struggles, both Eva and Jay thrived under the care of the NICU nurses, reaching milestones and growing stronger each day. “I knew they were in the right place,” she said. “And I knew they were being taken care of in a

Owensboro Health NICU Reunion Lets Parents Say Thanks

way that even though I was their mom, I couldn’t take care of them yet.”

Today, at almost 13 years old, the twins look like any other pre-teens. “Jay is a soccer player. He’s one of the most aggressive, competitive, passionate and emotional children I’ve ever met,” Katy said. “Eva has reached all of her milestones as well. She’s a really passionate dancer. They both excel in school and they are very social.”

Katy expressed her gratitude for the dedicated nurses who not only cared for her babies but also supported her through the difficult time.

“Looking back, I would say there was some postpartum stuff going on,” Katy said. ”I did not recognize it, but I feel like the nurses probably recognized it and they were strong enough to say ‘you need to go home. You need to take a break. You need to go eat.’ So, I really did appreciate that. Even though they were there for my babies. They were really good to me as well.”

The annual NICU reunion holds a

special place in their hearts, allowing the family to show appreciation, share their children’s progress, and reunite with the team that played a crucial role in their development. Katy and Jason make an effort to bring the children to each one. As Jay and Eva prepare to attend the upcoming reunion as almost teenagers, it signifies a full-circle moment where they can express their own gratitude and appreciation for the compassionate care they received during their fragile beginning.

After a four-year break due to the pandemic, the NICU Reunion returns to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital this April. The NICU team looks forward to seeing everyone who has RSVP’d for the event.

The NICU Reunion is a poignant reminder of resilience, hope and the enduring bond between families and the dedicated healthcare professionals who support them through their NICU challenges. OP

52 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024 Paid Advertorial
ABOUT THE NICU: If your newborn needs special care, he or she may stay in Owensboro Health Regional Hospital’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The largest of its kind in the region, our NICU can tend to babies of any weight born as early as 27 weeks of gestation. Your infant will benefit from neonatal experts while you stay close to your home and support system. Learn more at OwensboroHealth.org/NICU.

Learning through Reading

At our school we read books every day. While we read we explore, laugh, and play. Pages turn. So much to learn.

I wonder what we’ll read today!

Some books are short and some are long. Some include a rhyming song. We read in the sun.

Soon we are done.

We’re ready for the next read-along!

“I like this book because it is funny and shows friendship.”

- Noelle, Grade 3

“I like this book because the sea monster helped the boat get to the other side.”

- Caroline K. Grade 2

This month students at Highlands Latin School of Owensboro share their favorite read-alouds from school this year.

Where are the Night Animals

“I like this book because of the cool animals.”

- Maverick, Kindergarten

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

“I like how this book has an apple pie!”

- Elora, Kindergarten

“I like the two bears in this book!”

- Sophia, Kindergarten

“My favorite part is when he makes the dough!”

- Oliver, Kindergarten

54 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024
Winnie the Pooh Walter the Baker by Eric Carle God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent
Katie 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).

George Washington’s Breakfast by Jean Fritz

“The boy tries to find out what Washington eats for breakfast.”

- Axel, Grade 2

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

“I like when Ferdinand sits on a bee!”

- Benham, Kindergarten

The Planets by Gail Gibbons

“I like space and this book is about space!”

- Oaken, Kindergarten

Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats by Ann Earle

“I learned that bats can sense animals.”

- Edith, Kindergarten

The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown

“There was a lonely tree and the man took it home!”

- Piper, Kindergarten

The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright

“In this book the siblings are nice to each other.”

- Caroline J., Grade 3

April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 55

Nurturing Emotional Well-Being in our Children

When emotions are high, people often act and do things they would not do on a normal day. When you are a young child, this might very well be what you do all the time.

Consider this scenario: Bradley is struggling with his spelling words. Instead of screaming and giving up, he tells his dad how frustrated he is and asks for help. Or this one: Haley’s friend gets some upsetting news and cancels their plans to go to the movies. Haley understands why her friend doesn’t feel like socializing and makes other plans.

These reactions may not appear significant at first glance. However, they signify a critical set of abilities constituting what is referred to as "emotional intelligence" (EI). Unlike IQ tests, emotional intelligence isn't quantified in traditional ways. Nonetheless, it plays a pivotal role in assisting us in navigating obstacles and effectively responding to various situations. It aids us in establishing meaningful connections with those around us.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to process feelings, our own and other people’s. It means being able to notice, understand and take action on emotions in an effective way. As parents and educators, fostering emotional intelligence in children is a fundamental responsibility that lays the foundation for their future relationships, academic achievements, and mental health.

The concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI) has been present for decades, gaining popularity with the 1995 publication "Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ" by psychologist Daniel Goleman. Goleman outlined emotional intelligence as consisting of five key elements:


This involves individuals recognizing their emotions in the moment and understanding how their moods influence others.


People who possess self-regulation can control their emotional responses, considering potential consequences before acting impulsively.


Individuals with strong motivation can achieve their objectives despite encountering negative or distracting emotions.


Empathetic individuals can comprehend and share the emotions of others.


Those with developed social skills can effectively manage relationships, understanding which behaviors warrant positive responses from others.

Emotional self-control, a significant aspect of emotional intelligence, refers to the skill of controlling one's emotional experiences and outward displays of feelings. Through repeated practice, children improve their ability to regulate their emotions. Typically, by the age of four, most children begin using techniques to reduce the impact of upsetting external factors. For instance, they may shield their eyes when frightened or block their ears in response to loud sounds.

Feelings serve a purpose in our lives. The only way you can learn to regulate a feeling is to feel it. That is how kids learn. This is how kids learn to self regulate. The foundational aspect of emotional intelligence involves being aware of and understanding our emotions. Before we can effectively manage and express our emotions, we must first acknowledge and comprehend them. Emotions are integral to human evolution and serve specific purposes.

Children need to experience and learn to tolerate these emotions in order to cultivate self-control and emotional intelligence. But we can all agree that children cannot be

what they do not see. Keeping that sentence in mind here are some tools to enable your child to comprehend and describe their emotions in a positive and healthy way.

Model positive behavior. Show your child how you respond to challenging situations. When you model listening, patience and understanding they will be more likely to respond in that way. Remember, you are the one that teaches them how to handle the world.

Create a safe and accepting space where children feel comfortable expressing their feelings without fear of judgment or ridicule.

Foster Empathy and Perspective-Taking. Cultivate empathy by encouraging children to consider other people's perspectives and feelings.

Provide opportunities for children to practice empathy through acts of kindness, cooperation, and understanding towards others.

Promote Self-Awareness and Reflection. Help children develop self-awareness by encouraging reflection on their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Prompt them to consider how their actions impact themselves and others. Engage in activities like journaling, mindfulness exercises, and provide activities that promote selfreflection.

Provide Opportunities for social interactions. Encourage children to participate in group activities, team sports, or collaborative projects that foster social skills like communication, cooperation, and empathy.

Investing in the emotional intelligence of children is a continuous process that requires patience, empathy, and consistent support from parents and educators. By implementing the strategies outlined, we can empower children to navigate the complexities of their emotions, build meaningful relationships, and thrive in all aspects of their lives. Remember, nurturing their emotional well-being today lays the groundwork for a brighter and more resilient future tomorrow. OP

56 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024

Out & About


7 Local Things to do THIS SEASON

2024 Season Farmers Market Opening Day


Enjoy the great outdoors on the opening day for the 2024 Farmers Market season! This is your chance to shop amazing local vendors enjoy breakfast AND lunch, hear live music from Owensboro’s very own Cam Thompson and register for ORMF Kids and Adult POP club. The Power of Produce (POP) Club allows participants who visit the Market once per week to receive $5 in Market bucks to use on fresh fruits and vegetables.


Eclipse Viewing at the Botanical Garden


The garden offers a unique setting for viewing and lot of photo opportunities. The shadows created during the duration of the eclipse cycle are pretty amazing. Admission will be $4 for adults over 21, and Garden members and kids are free. The Garden will offer 300 pairs of solar glasses thanks to sponsor Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline. The glasses will be issued on a first come first serve basis.


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.

58 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024 1

4 5 Pigtails & Cowlicks Spring Consignment Sale


Stretch your budget! Over 600 families will be selling new or gently used children’s items at amazing prices at the Pigtails & Cowlicks

Children’s Consignment Sale!

Clothing, toys, furniture, books, baby gear, shoes, boutique, and more. ALL for kids – from babies to teens! No admission fee to shop; open to the public. Cash and debit/credit cards accepted.



The Daviess County Parks & Recreation Department is hosting a fun new event this year for kids of all ages to explore big machines of all shapes and sizes. County trucks, construction equipment, and emergency vehicles will all be there to touch, sit in, pretend with, and learn about how they work. A couple of Blackhawk Helicopters will be there too! The first hour of Touch- A-Truck will be sensory friendly to be inclusive to anyone who wants to join the fun, but doesn’t like loud noise and bright flashing lights. If you like the lights and sirens, those can be demonstrated for the remainder of the time. Along with the truck experience, there will be inflatables and activities, food truck vendors, and a petting zoo. The best part? It’s free!

April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 59

BBQ & Barrels

MAY 10 - 11


BBQ and Barrels – a celebration of two of Owensboro’s rich traditions! We’re bringing the focus back to its roots- true Kentucky barbecuewhile adding in elements of Kentucky bourbon. Guests will love the familiarity of the traditional festival, including the Backyard BBQ Cookoff, church cooking teams, live music, carnival rides, and more barbecue vendors than you have ever seen in downtown Owensboro- all open to the general public!


MAY 11 @ 8:00 AM

This race is in conjunction with the 2024 BBQ & Barrels event and the community is invited to run or walk with us; competitive racers will stage in the front of the start line at 8 a.m. and noncompetitive racers will be at the back of the start line. Registration pricing is $35 for adults and $20 for children 1-18.

60 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024
6 7



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

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

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


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


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

62 OWENSBORO PARENT • April // May 2024

On the Honor Roll?

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


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


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.


A child can receive 10 tokens with a purchase if they bring in their report card.


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

*This list is subject to change. Please contact restaurants to ensure their participation.

April // May 2024 • OWENSBORO PARENT 63
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