tally ho! Snapdragon Seeds founder Steve ... - Minnesota Parent

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tally ho! Snapdragon Seeds founder Steve ... - Minnesota Parent

august 2012

tally ho!

tC polo Club builds

community of horse

enthusiasts

bAck to

{page 20}

Snapdragon

Seeds founder

Steve Sanders

{page 46}

school

Read on for cool products, great savings, and good books!

hoStinG An

eXChAnGe StUdent

How little ones can learn from

a new big “brother” or “sister”

{Page 16}

PoLiCe offiCerS

in the SChooLS?

Let’s call them what they

really are: peace offi cers

{Page 36}


4 August 2012

Augus g

Features

16

iT’S a SMaLL WOrLD

Hosting an exchange student

By Julie Kendrick

20

SaDDLE UP!

Twin Cities Polo Club

by Kelly Jo

McDonnell

36

POLiCiNG THE

MiDDLE

Resource offi cers

in middle and

elementary schools

are watchful, helpful

By Jennifer Rogers


tdepartments

8

CHaTTEr

10

TWEEN SCENE

The birthday treat culture

46

rEaL LiFE

Real dad

Steven

Sanders

41

HOT STUFF

Back to school cool

41

BOOK SHELF

It’s elementary!

12

GrOWS ON TrEES

Back to school buys

calendar

24

OUT & aBOUT

14

FiGHT LESS,

LOVE MOrE

Learn how

to apologize

properly

August 2012 5


6 August 2012

from the editor

Choosing forgiveness

I am not one to spend a lot of time watching videos on YouTube,

but I did, however, navigate to YouTube to view the mid-June

viral video of Greece, N.Y. middle school children harassing bus

monitor Karen Klein. Because my job involves a healthy dose of

writing and researching the behavior and predilections of

children, I felt it was important to see this—despite that I knew it

would harsh on my mellow.

A while back, I worked with a preeminent wolf biologist and I

learned a lot about pack behavior, alphas and betas, how animals

can turn on each other—and also how they can work together

toward a common goal, such as taking down prey. I see no difference

between wolves and deer and those boys on the bus, harassing

a woman who could have been my mother, or your gramma.

Reading accounts online, excerpts from news interviews, it’s

clear that all involved believe their lives are forever changed. One

parent says the event will “scar our family for life.”

I hope this isn’t the case. At some point, all involved will have

to dig down deep, ascertain the motivations that led them to this

event, and then make a decision to forgive. Forgiveness is not

about pardoning the action itself, but accepting that what

happened is past and cannot be changed. The only next step is to

look to the future, and do better.

The boys involved have newly entered a difficult and delicate

life stage: puberty. The misfiring hormones, the lack of a fully

developed frontal lobe, all of these factors coupled with the

event’s fallout are working against them, in essence, in regard to

moving forward with confidence into adulthood. I worry that

depression will set in, that certain self-destructive behaviors so

many teens and tweens struggle with, will be intensified.

As your children head back to school, take some time with

them. Connect. Look them in the eyes; let them know you are

there for them, but also make them aware of the behavior you

expect when they hop on the bus, or interact with teachers and

other adults in authority. I am convinced that we can’t always

spare our kids from bullies, but we can do our due diligence in

making certain our kids aren’t going to be the sorry subject of the

next YouTube video.

Kathleen Stoehr

Editor


Vol. 27, issue 8

Co-Publishers

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General manager

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editor

Kathleen Stoehr

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Contributing Writers/Photographers

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Kelly Jo McDonnell

Kara McGuire

Laurie Puhn

Joy Riggs

Jennifer Rogers

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August 2012 7


In brief

The Paint Pub, an art studio café that allows

you to sip a beverage (even alcoholic) and

paint, has opened in Maple Grove. Paint the

featured art of the night, or enjoy a Sunday

afternoon family class, which includes all

materials and instruction. For more info, go

to the-paint-pub.com; Como Zoo in St. Paul

unveiled its newest permanent exhibit

featuring nature’s “super dad” — the

seahorse. Located in the Aquatics building,

the exhibit features a 300-gallon display with

12 lined seahorses and 15 other species of

aquatic animals. More will be added

throughout the summer; Open Table

recently named the top 75 kid-friendly

restaurants: two are located in Minnesota.

They are Parasole’s Burger Jones restaurants

in Burnsville and Minneapolis and

Buca di Beppo, which opened first in

Minneapolis in 1993 and has since grown to

be a nationwide chain owned now by Planet

Hollywood International Inc.; TheBump.

com has launched a new series of events

called “The Bump Bring Your Baby

Matinee”: on the first Tuesday of each

month, parents can enjoy movies in a

baby-friendly environment without worrying

MiNNESOTa ParENT TESTED

The Great Zazoo

8 August 2012

about baby making too much noise, no place

to breastfeed, or room to park the stroller.

AMC movie theatres in Eden Prairie and

Maple Grove will participate. Go to tinyurl.

com/7fffu5a for more information on the

next event. Upcoming is The Amazing

Spider-Man on the 7th at noon; Congratulations

are extended to high school students

Emily Nies of White Bear Lake and Daniel

Piering of Wayzata who represented

Minnesota at the National High School

Musical Theatre “Jimmy” Awards in June in

New York City; Tony Jaksa Sr., subject of our

“Real Life” back page in May, recently

launched a new website and blog on

kidssafetysquad.com; Valleyfair has

launched a mobile app that can be used to

locate the park’s rides, shows, food, restrooms,

and attractions, plus you can

purchase tickets and view hours of operation,

among other things. Download the app

by searching for Valleyfair on your smart

phone; Want to eat out and not have to pay

for the food your kid picks through and

ultimately may not eat? Go to outtoeatwithkids.com

or mykidseatfree.com to find

those places advertising a free kid meal with

purchase of an adult meal; The Salt Cave, a

new business utilizing all natural salts to aid

Does your child wake you up way too early, because he or she is too young to be able

to tell time? Behold the Zazoo photo clock, a great answer for your early riser.

Preloaded photos (or add your own) alert your child when to stay in bed and when

to get up. Our parent tester Kristin set it up in son Ollie’s room, and says, “This clock

has been fabulous! We set it to a picture of an ‘awake dinosaur’ when my son should

be up and a ‘sleeping dinosaur’ for

when he should be in bed. After a

couple of weeks of using it, bedtime

and naptime are no longer a struggle.

He stays in his bed until the dino is

awake in the morning … and comes

running into our room saying, ‘dino’s

awake! dino’s awake!’ Hooray!”

zazookids.com, about $90

MiNNESOTa ParENT TESTED

Do the

Chicken Dance!

The Luv Chicken booster cushion is

a great solution for hiking little

ones up to the table. Made from

kid-safe coated fabric, the lightweight

cushion is easy to wipe

clean. A non-slip bottom keeps the

seat in place, handy carry handle

makes it easy to tote. A variety of

cool patterns too.

Luv-chicken.com, about $45

those suffering from allergies, asthma, and

other respiratory ailments, has opened in

southwest Minneapolis at 48th and Nicollet.

Up to eight guests at a time can relax and

rejuvenate in the hand-crafted Salt Cave,

which utilizes a generator to micronize

pharmaceutical-grade salts known to reduce

symptoms of respiratory distress. The

unique aesthetics include hand-carved lamps

from Pakistan, a salt-covered floor, and walls

that are decorated with rich, pink Himalayan

salts fossilized with age. Visitsaltcaveminnesota.com

for more information.

The Salt Cave


Challenging

the culture of

birthday treats

By Joy Riggs

I don’t remember how I resolved the

dilemma. I only remember the burning

sensation as my cheeks turned pinker than

the limited-edition cookies.

By the time my three kids came through

elementary school, rules about treats had

changed. Homemade cookies? Not

permitted. Store-packaged birthday treats?

Usually permitted, depending upon the

teacher. Healthful options? Certainly, but

avoid anything with nuts.

Now that my youngest child has moved

on to sixth grade, freeing me from

elementary snack dilemmas, I’ve noticed

that the sharing of birthday treats in

many schools is becoming a thing of the

past—a direct result, no doubt, of a

federal law requiring districts participating

in the national school meals

program to have a local wellness policy.

Our district’s policy, for example, states:

10 August 2012

It’s an embarrassing moment from childhood that I’ve tried to

forget: In fourth grade, I took a tin of homemade candy cane

cookies to school to share with classmates on my birthday.

As I handed them out, I discovered I’d miscounted and didn’t

have a cookie for each person—I was two or three short, and I

was mortified.

Classroom snacks and celebrations should

reinforce the importance of healthy

choices and portion control.

Some parents may question whether we

want to live in a society that forbids the

occasional high-fat, loaded-with-sugar

birthday treat. I can understand the

emotional reaction, but I also think it’s

crazy to hope that our kids will learn

moderation while they’re constantly

bombarded by unhealthful food choices

and messages.

The website of Let’s Move!, the antiobesity

initiative led by First Lady Michelle

Obama, notes that kids 30 years ago ate just

one snack per day; now they eat an average

of three snacks totaling 200 extra calories,

with one in five kids eating up to six snacks

a day. Portion size also has expanded from

the 1970s; the average sugar-sweetened

drink then was 13.6 ounces compared to

today’s average of 20 ounces.

If that’s not enough to give you pause,

consider these additional statistics from

Let’s Move!:

• Americans eat 31 percent more

calories than 40 years ago, including

56 percent more fats and oils and 14

percent more sugars and sweeteners.

• An average American now eats

15 more pounds of sugar a year

than in 1970.

Promoting good nutrition

Schools alone can’t solve the problem of

unhealthful eating habits and rising

obesity rates, but they can play an

important role in promoting good

nutrition, which is linked to better

academic performance. According to

Action for Healthy Kids Minnesota, meals

and snacks at school “can provide

one-third to one-half of a child’s daily

nutritional needs.”

With so much at stake, it’s not

surprising that many schools in Minnesota

are finding creative ways to promote

healthier eating habits—schools like Fair

Oaks Elementary in Brooklyn Park, which

has a diverse population and a high

ResouRces

action for Healthy Kids

Minnesota Guidelines for

Good Nutrition at School

tinyurl.com/7htarng

Center for Science

in the Public interest

Healthy School Celebrations

tinyurl.com/8ymym47

Connecticut State

Department of Education

Healthy Celebrations

tinyurl.com/73zm9as

Let’s move!

Facts about childhood obesity

letsmove.gov


number of kids who are eligible for free or

a reduced-price lunch.

When Fair Oaks implemented a

nutritious snack initiative two years ago,

it eliminated the practice of students

bringing treats to school in honor of their

birthdays. Ana Markowski, the school’s

volunteer coordinator, says this was a

difficult change for parents and

AlteRnAtive

celebRAtion

ideAs

students—particularly because celebrating

birthdays is an important part of the

culture for many of the ethnic groups

represented in the school.

“I had a Hmong father come in with a

cake, a birthday hat, and napkins. He

didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak

Hmong,” Markowski says. “He kept

saying, ‘Why, why?’ It took me a long time

• Give children extra recess time instead of a class party. For

birthdays, let the birthday child choose and lead an active game.

• Instead of food, ask parents to purchase a book for the classroom

or the school library in the birthday child’s name. Invite the child’s

parents to come in and read it to the class.

• Create a “celebrate me” book. Have classmates write stories or poems

and draw pictures to describe what is special about the birthday child.

• Instead of a party, organize a community service project. Involve parents in planning

the project and providing needed materials.

From the ConneCtiCut State Department oF eDuCation

to explain [the policy] to him. I thought,

why not have a day when we celebrate all

the birthdays?”

School employees organized a “Celebrate

Your Birthday with Dr. Seuss”

evening, where cake and punch was

served, and it was so popular, they

organized it again last spring, this time

expanding it to include literacy activities.

“We opened the whole school—the media

center, the lunchroom, the gym. It was

like an open house, with cake and drinks.

It was outstanding. We had over 300

people,” Markowski says.

The popularity of the event demonstrated

a Dr. Seuss-like message that my

10-year-old self would have benefited from

hearing three decades ago, as I recovered

from my cookie embarrassment: birthday

celebrations aren’t about the treats, they’re

about the people. They’re about building

family and community. What could be

more healthful than that?

August 2012 11


Back to school

bargains

By Kara McGuire

dig through last year’s supplies

The crayons may be down to little nubs,

but do you really need to buy new

scissors each year? Mine last year’s

supplies for any reusable items before

heading out to shop.

Use ‘deals’ sites

Local money-saving site pocketyourdollars.com

is one of many websites that

track deals by store and matches

coupons. Southernsavers.com, a site

useful to even those of us without a

drawl, already has a back to school

guide with target prices. For example,

the site estimates that a great deal on

spiral notebooks will set you back 15

cents each. When you find the deals,

don’t wait. Get to the store early in the

week to reduce sell-out risk.

Also, keep an eye on Groupon and

other daily deals sites. My guess is it will

have several offers related to back to

12 August 2012

For deal-seeking parents, back to school is a

season second only to holiday shopping. Retailers

start offering deals on backpacks, glue, and

designer jeans in July. Competition is fierce. And

if you play the game right, you can score several products

for next to nothing. Here are some tips for the determined

back-to-school shopper.

school, including discounts on dance

lessons and other after school activities.

Be patient

It is tempting to fulfill the entire school

list as soon as the advertisements

sprout. But being patient can pay off.

Retailers will spread the best deals

throughout the summer.

While most teachers expect all school

supplies at the beginning of the year,

clothing is another story. Say your son’s

pants look like my six-year-old’s—holey,

faded, and hanging three inches above

his ankle bones. Buy a pair or two to

start the year. But the remainder of

clothing needs can wait for the steeper

discounts that come in September.

Keep receipts

If you subscribe to the “two dry erase

markers in hand...” philosophy, you may

want to purchase items you think are

great deals, keep the receipts, and return

them if better deals reveal themselves

later on. Or use the aforementioned

price guide.

An even more important reason to

keep receipts: Tax savings.

In Minnesota, most school supplies

can be counted toward the refundable

K–12 education credit or the K–12

education subtraction. Revenue.state.

mn.us has more information on who can

take advantage of these tax breaks and

what expenses qualify.

Use those teachable moments

This idea came to me when my second

grader brought home a worksheet

calculating school supply prices. Why

not get my kids more involved in the


purchasing of their school supplies? Of

course, bringing a child into the school

supply aisle needs some coaching (“No,

we are only buying what’s on the list”)

and a lot of resolve (“No, the super cute

puppy folder is not on the list”). But

explaining how to compare prices, use

coupons and budget are valuable money

lessons to teach your children.

If your child is old enough to care

about designer jeans, they are also old

enough for a clothing allowance. What

better opportunity to talk to your child

about wants versus needs, how much

you are willing to pitch in for certain

status items, and how to earn money in

the neighborhood or around the house?

time is money

Last year, exhausted by a busy work

schedule and three young kids, I chose

convenience over cost and spent five

minutes shopping for school supplies.

I purchased ready-made school supply

kits through our elementary school.

They cost more than I would have paid

driving all over creation looking for free

No. 2 pencils. Or did they? I love a good

deal and the thrill of the hunt, but after

considering how much money I’d spend

in gas, and how much time I would

expend compiling two school supply

lists from a dozen stores, I decided the

easy route wasn’t that much more

expensive. Before you start Mama or

Papa’s school supply marathon, consider

the value of your time and sanity. Also

remember that many stores price match

and others offer specials online.

Kara McGuire is a personal finance expert

and mother of three living in St. Paul.

ResouRces

pocketyourdollars.com

southernsavers.com

groupon.com

revenue.state.mn.us

August 2012 13


14 August 2012

How to give a

perfect apology

By Laurie Puhn

friends. Perhaps you revealed something

personal to your parents that embarrassed

your spouse.

Whatever your error, don’t allow it to

ruin a nice evening or a good relationship.

When a simple “I’m sorry” isn’t enough,

it’s time for you to use the perfect three-step

apology, which will give you the forgiveness

you want in fi ve minutes or less.

Step 1: make a mountain

out of a molehill

While it’s our natural instinct to minimize

our mistakes by saying, “I didn’t really

mean it,” or “It’s no big deal,” doing so will

only aggravate your partner.

Instead, if you go big and maximize

your error with a comment like, “I made

a huge error,” or “It was really awful of

me to do that,” then your mate would be

relieved knowing that you get how wrong

you were, and that sentiment will go a

long way toward reducing the anger.

Have you ever heard the words, “I’m sorry,” and

instantly thought, “Oh no you’re not.”

You knew the apology sounded insincere from the

moment your spouse opened his or her mouth.

Or maybe you were the one who put your foot in your

mouth when you criticized your spouse during dinner with

Step 2: Use the “because” clause

When someone is mad at you for your

wrongdoing, it’s because they feel disrespected,

insulted, hurt, or ignored. What

seems like a small thing, such as telling

your children about your husband’s fl aw

(like his forgetfulness), is more than that

to your husband. It’s disrespectful and

rude to put him down to your children or

anyone for that matter.

“while it’s our

natural instinct

to minimize our

mistakes by saying,

‘i didn’t really

mean it,’ or ‘it’s no

big deal,’ doing so

will only aggravate

your partner.”


So dig deep and say you’re sorry for the

deeper value that was undercut. Use the

word “because,” to share exactly how you

hurt your mate, as in “I’m sorry I talked

negatively about you to our children because

it was disrespectful of me and it makes them

think they can put you down too.”

Step 3: Prevent and repair

This is the crucial part of a perfect

apology. Without this step, you won’t win

forgiveness. Complete your fi ve-minute

apology conversation by explaining to

your mate how you will fi x the damage

done or offer a plan of action to prevent

the mistake from recurring.

For instance, if you opened your big

mouth to your children, you can’t fi x the

damage. But you can assure your mate

that in the future you will share your

frustrations directly with your mate, not

with the kids. Plus you can grant your

mate permission to interrupt you and

remind you of your agreement, if you say

something negative about him/her.

But what if you’re not the guilty party

and instead, your mate is? Since that

person doesn’t know the three steps in a

perfect apology, you can coach him or her

into telling you what you need to hear.

Tell the wrongdoer that a quick two-word

“I’m sorry” doesn’t work for you and that

you need to know exactly what he or she is

sorry for. After he or she lists some reasons,

ask how this mistake can be prevented from

happening again. You will probably need to

offer some suggestions here.

Once your mate agrees to a practical

prevention plan, bury the mistake and

move on to enjoy your time together. Use

this perfect apology strategy to fi ght less,

love more and keep your homefront a

peaceful, loving place.

Laurie Puhn is a Harvard-educated

lawyer, couples mediator, and bestselling

author of Fight Less, Love More:

5-Minute Conversations to Change Your

Relationship Without Blowing Up or Giving

In, who frequently appears on CNN, “Good

Morning America,” and “The Early Show.”

August 2012 15


It’s a small world

16 August 2012

What hosting an exchange student can teach your young kids

By Julie Kendrick

“There are more cultures in the world than just ours, and more ways that people live

than just our way.” That, succinctly, is what Lisa Foss says her children learned

when their family hosted a teenaged exchange student. Foss and her husband, who live in

Tonka Bay, hosted a 17-year-old girl from Parma, Italy last year, when their sons, Sawyer and

Kristian, were fi ve and seven years old.

The Foss family poses with exchange student, Anna (center), from

Parma, Italy.

SubmitteD image


Foss is just one of many local parents

who think that perhaps the perfect time to

add a teenager from another country to

their family is while their kids are still

young. “I’ve noticed that they asked her a

lot of questions about what happens in her

country, and for me that’s a good indicator

that they’re interested in something more

than themselves,” she says.

finding a fit

Steve and Rebekah Adams hosted 12

consecutive exchange students in the Twin

Cities, beginning when their children were

seven and three years old. Says Steve, “We

initially asked our kids, ‘How would you

feel about a big brother or sister?’ and it

just sort of went from there. We’d ask

again every year and they always said

they’d like to host another student. We

looked for someone who indicated a

preference for little kids, was comfortable

with pets, and enjoyed sports, because we

all do. We figured the rest was negotiable,

and we were always open to boy or girl.”

One family rule was never to host from

the same country twice. “We figured it

would help us avoid comparisons, and we

got to learn more about the world that

way,” he says.

Globe in the living room

Foss says that her family registered for

an exchange student through American

Field Service (AFS). One benefit of the

program, she felt, was the participation

of a liaison, a volunteer who conducts

periodic checks on the progress of

families. Sheila Todd, an AFS liaison who

lives in Minnetonka, says her role is to be

intermediary and safety net for hosting

families and exchange students alike.

“I’m the ‘American aunt’ for them,” she

explains. It’s a role she’s been filling for

about 10 years, since her son was small.

While the Todds have never hosted a

student themselves (“Our house is just

too small,” she confesses), their family

has been able to capitalize on the chance

to travel vicariously. “We keep a globe in

our living room, and whenever we hear

about the home country of a kid we’ve

known, our son, Will, races to the globe

to check it out. He’s met people of all

different cultures, ethnicities, and

religions, and I think it’s helped him

become a more compassionate person

as a result,” she says.

Benefits on both sides

One benefit in hosting, says Steve Adams,

is that the exchange students they hosted

were often academically and competitively

oriented, which, he said, “made

them good role models for our younger

ones.” And there are benefits that extend

in the other direction, as well. A house

with younger children can often provide a

warmer atmosphere for a far-from-home

exchange student. Jennifer Niemeier, an

AFS Chapter Coordinator, was herself a

teen exchange student. She touts the

benefit of hosting when your own kids are

young. “I think younger kids are generally

more accepting, so you won’t hear snarky

comments like ‘You’re wearing that?’ or

‘You talk funny.’ Younger kids have lives

that are changing all the time, anyway, so

they’re more likely to go with the flow,”

she observes. Her own family hosted a

French exchange student, and within

weeks of the girl’s arrival, she reports, her

small boys were drawing family pictures

that included their “new big sister.”

Todd says, “It can be more comfortable

to come home from school and chat with

little kids, because then the students don’t

need to keep up that ‘cool’ façade or feel

that they’re competing with another teen.

They can read books or play video games

with those younger kids, and learn

English while they’re having fun. Some of

the best success stories I’ve seen have

come from families with younger children.

The exchange students will tell me,

‘I came here to make teenage friends, and

I feel so lucky that I got an American

family, too.’”

Parenting practice run

Todd also notes that having a small child

and a reason to connect with teens in her

neighborhood has provided benefits for

her own parenting, too. “It’s what I call ‘a

selfish silver lining,’” she says. “It’s good to

meet parents whose kids are a little

August 2012 17


18 August 2012

older than your own, because it can really

expand your network.” Foss agrees,

saying, “I never would have had a reason

to go into our local high school if we

hadn’t hosted a student, but now I’ve seen

it in action and I’ve been impressed.” She

adds, “I’ve been able to tap into a network

of parents with older kids, and I’ve

learned how parents talk about issues and

keep in touch these days.” Steve Adams

also praised the “practice run” aspect of

hosting a teen. “Any issue we had with

our exchange kids, our younger kids saw

us work through it, so they realized that

problems can be dealt with and resolved.

We all learned that no matter what

country they were from, teens everywhere

shared ups and downs.”

drive time downside

Of course, there can be challenges to

accepting a new person into your home,

and teenagers are, after all, teenagers.

Most exchange programs offer orientation

sessions and frequent networking

opportunities, so you’ll have an idea how

to set expectations and work through any

diffi culties.

When asked about the biggest drawback

to hosting a teenage exchange

student, the answer came through loud

and clear from many families: more

driving. Most programs prohibit students

from driving in the U.S., so host families

fi nd that their drive time can increase

signifi cantly, especially with a busy

teenager. But families have found

solutions, including starting up their own

carpools with other parents for afterschool

events and activities, or by

insisting that teens arrange their own

transportation for outings. Steve Adams,

the 12-time host dad, says, “We always

taught them how to start making calls to

friends and fi guring out rides right away.”

But transportation diffi culties aside, he

insists that it’s all been worth it. “The

biggest advantage has been that our kids

learned a great deal of patience with

people who are different. They looked at

the world in a different way, and they

were a lot nicer with everyone they met,”

he says. •

Then: This 1995

Adams family

photo includes

Giorgio Saccoia

(far back)—

the fi rst of 12

AFS exchange

students the

family hosted.

SubmitteD image

Now: Steve Adams

and his wife,

Rebekah pose with

their children, Ian

and Rachel—and

their recent Finnish

exchange student,

Paula Lipsanen

(far left), in Paris,

France.

SubmitteD image


GettinG stARted

Jennifer Niemeier, AFS Chapter Coordinator,

says that there are usually year-round

chances to host a student, including

second-semester students who arrive in

January. Before selecting an organization,

she recommends ensuring that they are

on the advisory list of the Council on

Standards for International Educational

Travel (CSIET). While every organization is

different, you should expect to complete an

application, have an in-home interview and

criminal background check, and then review

student profiles with a local volunteer once

your application has been approved. To

get started, she suggests contacting an

organization and requesting that you be

allowed to sit in on a chapter meeting and

talk with other hosting families. She also

recommends that everyone in your family,

including young kids, are given a chance to

talk about why the family wants to host a

student, including pros and cons. (csiet.org)

aFS: afsusa.org

A nonprofit international exchange

organization for students and adults

that operates in more than 50 countries,

AFS-USA works toward a more just and

peaceful world by providing international

and intercultural learning experiences

to individuals, families, schools, and

communities through a global volunteer

partnership.

rotary Youth Exchange

More than 80 countries and over 8,000

students each year participate in the

program, which is administered at the

regional level by Rotary districts and at the

local level by Rotary clubs.

Youth for Understanding: yfuusa.org

Youth for Understanding (YFU) is a

nonprofit international educational

organization with programs in 64

countries. Working in partnership with

governments, corporations, foundations,

school, and educators worldwide to

create global learning opportunities,

YFU promotes international

understanding and world peace.

Compass USa: compass-usa.net

If you’d like to start with a shorter time

commitment, then you might want to

consider Compass USA. This organization

specializes in short-term summer

homestays that last from 10 days to six

weeks. “A summer stay can be a great way

to test the waters and see how your family

adjusts to a new person in the house,” says

Kevlin Catalano, Compass USA’s managing

director of group operations. “Although

short-term homestays are not regulated

by the CSIET, the process for becoming a

host family is similar, and includes family

interviews and background checks.” •

August 2012 19


The Polo Classic in August

features kids from age

12 and up, with adult

competitions as well.

20 August 2012

sAddle

uP!

Polo is the sport of kings...and kids!

By Kelly Jo McDonnell

Photos by Cy Dodson

When someone brings up polo, one may have

visions of sleek horses thundering down the

grassy fi elds in London, England. The sport is

associated with kings—not kids, right?

So, it came as a surprise that we have our

own Twin Cities Polo Club in Maple Plain,

complete with Polo Classic match with the

proceeds going toward a wonderful cause—the

Leatherdale Equine Center at the University of

Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. And

double surprise—I saw numerous kids’ events

on the roster. I was sold.


Explaining our outing to my nine-year-

old son, Hayden, was something else.

“We’re going to a polo match!” Hayden

stared back blankly. I continued. “It’s a

game played on horses, and they hit a ball

around with a mallet. It’s like hockey on

horseback.” He seemed to accept that

explanation. “Is it like the guy on those

shirts?” he asked. Ah—Ralph Lauren. At

least he was catching on.

While the polo matches are played May

through September, we caught the 22nd

Annual Polo Classic at the end of July 2011

(more on the 2012 event in our sidebar). It

was a hot one, with temperatures in the

low 90s and muggy. But the drive was

beautiful, and the polo fi eld wasn’t hard to

fi nd among the sprawling pastures.

Hayden enjoyed watching the players prep

their horses, while I grabbed bottles of

water from the horse trough.

Beyond horses

There were many activities to keep the

kids entertained: face painting, a bouncy

tent, and a horse-drawn carriage tour of

the grounds. If your kids are into equines,

this is the place to be. Several retail tents

peppered one side of the fi eld; St. Croix

Saddlery, Pink Equine, and Refuge Farms.

There was even a Ralph Lauren “Big Pony

Collection” cologne booth full of bright

colored bottles with taglines such as “Be a

winner! Be part of the team!” Hayden

sprayed himself with several of the

samples before I could stop him.

The schedule of events seemed foreign to

us, but sounded fun all the same. Gates

opened at 11:00 a.m. and the Twin Cities

Polo Club Youth Match began at noon.

Hayden loved seeing kids from age 12 and

up on the fi eld warming up the polo greens.

“It is wonderful,” said Craig Robbins, Polo

Classic co-chair, “Our youth polo group,

ages 12 up to 20, play in the youth program.

The kids learn about the sport, and the

youth polo match showcases some of the

kids that play. It gives them an opportunity

to show what they can do!” I was pleased to

see several long ponytails streaming in the

wind behind a few of the players helmets. I

poked Hayden. “Those are girls!” I

exclaimed. He rolled his eyes. “They haven’t

scored yet, Mommy.” As if on cue,

August 2012 21


22 August 2012

one of the girl players thundered past us and

chucked a ball right into the goal.

After the youth match, we witnessed the

Long Lakes Hounds Demonstration at

12:45. The Long Lake Hounds club was

founded in 1959, and is Minnesota’s only

hunt. No worries—it’s a “drag” hunt,

meaning it doesn’t hunt or involve live fox;

instead, a fox scent is dragged on horseback

to simulate the path a pursued

animal might take over the fi elds or

through the woods. Hayden enjoyed

watching the numerous hounds being

corralled by riders around the fi eld.

The opening ceremony was at 1:45, and

as Hayden put it, “it was time for the big

guy polo.” The announcer proclaimed, “The

polo gods are smiling on us!” Smiling? It

was 94 degrees. But I suppose that meant

that it wasn’t raining. We were learning.

“It’s a fun community event,” Robbins

explained, directing us to the large Equine

Center tent. “It gives you a chance to meet

one another, and helps build that community

effort.” We nestled ourselves in the

shade of the large tent, which had great

About Polo

• Field is 300 yards long;

200 yards wide

• Goals are 24 feet wide

• Match is divided into six chukkers

(periods)

• Each chukker is 7.5 minutes long

• Each polo team has four players

(numbered 1-2-3-4)

• A common foul in polo is “crossing

the line of the ball” (think a car driver

cutting into someone else’s lane).

Hooking and other controlled means

of physical contact are legal and very

much part of the game

• Game balls are hard plastic, and

similar to size of a baseball

• Players use the side of a mallet to

strike the ball

• Polo ponies are prepped for matches

by having their legs wrapped in

special bandages to protect from

mallet and ball hits and their tails are

braided to prevent entanglement

• Polo ponies are equipped with

English-style saddles and tack


seats along the side of the polo fi eld. It was

organized with tables of information on

the Equine Center’s programs, which are

for teaching, research, clinic care, and

community outreach for advancing the

health, well-being, and performance of

horses. The Center boasts a 60,000-squarefoot

facility that supports the growing

University of Minnesota equine program.

Home to nearly 500 state and local

ResouRces

Polo Classic

Sunday, August 12

Adults $25; kids ages 12 to 18, $10

The Polo Classic benefi ts the University

of Minnesota’s Leatherdale Equine

Center. For more info:

Twin City Polo Club

6755 Turner Road

Maple Plain, MN 55359

763-479-4307; thepoloclassic.com

horse clubs, Minnesota has more than

155,000 horses—the ninth-largest horse

population in the U.S.!

The polo match was fast paced and

downright exciting, even though we were

still learning the rules of the game. Hayden

thought it was a blast to run out on the fi eld

at half time for the divot stomp. (I reminded

him to stay clear of steamy divots.) I was

impressed with the athleticism of the riders;

and the agility of the polo ponies was

equally impressive. It’s not uncommon for

the horses to reach speeds of 35 mph while

still being able to turn on a dime. By the

end of the match, Hayden announced that

he thought polo was “cool.”

I could still smell the faint scent of Polo

in the air as we drove home. I reveled in the

feeling that my son and I had enjoyed

something completely new and learned a

thing or two along the way. The polo gods

had indeed smiled on us. •

August 2012 23


out About

Pull out

And sAve!

Squeeze the last

drops of fun out of

summer!

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat

1 2 3 4

Ethan Bortnick ————————

Happy 51st

@ Burnsville ————————

————————

bloomington

Performing

birthday, President

Jazz Festival Arts

————————

Barack Obama!

7:00 p.m. Center ————————

————————

————————

Minneapolis art Festival Triple Play

The Toonies

@ Woodbury Lakes,

10:00 a.m.

Uptown Art Fair

Loring Park Art Festival

165 diff erent plays

in 10 days!

Minnesota Fringe

Festival, 2nd to 12th

Powderhorn Art Fair

august 3–5

august 2 to 19:

Showdown

@ Circus Juventas

10 11 ————————

————————

————————

————————

————————

————————

8 9

————————

————————

The Wizard of Oz

@ Burnsville

Performing Arts Center,

through August 12th

————————

————————

————————

————————

irish ceili dance

7:00 @ College

of St. Catherine

7

————————

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————————

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5 6

————————

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Seussical closes

————————

@ Stages Theatre

————————

Company

————————

————————

18

17

————————

Continental Divide

————————

Music & Film Festival

————————

& Puppet Pageant in

————————

New York Mills

————————

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16

————————

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14 15

————————

Put your feet up:

————————

It’s National

————————

Relaxation Day!

————————

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12

13

————————

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————————

Family Day

at the Mia

Peace Games:

Inside/Out

Huzzah! Minnesota

renaissance

Family Fun tuesdays


Festival opens

okee dokee brothers

@ caponi Art Park

25

National

Banana

Split Day

23 24

————————

————————

————————

————————

————————

————————

21 22

Family Fun Tuesdays ————————

Z Puppets ————————

rosenschnoz @ Caponi

art Park sculpture ————————

garden, Eagan ————————

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19 20

————————

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Free 3rd Sunday

@ Minnesota

Children’s Museum

12 Days of FUN! Minnesota State Fair » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » »

28 29

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26 27

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august is

National Family

Fun Month!

30 31

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arty Pants

Your Tuesday Playdate

@ Walker art Center

————————

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Women’s

Equality Day

to recognize the

signing of the 19th

amendment

Make a S’More! It’s

National Marshmallow

Toasting Day

» » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » through September 3rd


out About

Kidical Mass:

Mississippi

River Ride

Red House Barnfest

Î Red House Barnfest will feature a whole day of the finest folk, bluegrass,

Americana, and blues music with main stage performances by Lucy

Kaplansky, Bill Staines, Drew Nelson, Natalia Zukerman, The High 48’s, Black

Audience, and more. The expanded KIDFEST will include special children’s

activities and a family stage with performances by Open Eye Figure

Theatre, Jayanthi Kyle and The Crybabies, and Bill Staines. Hearkening back

to the days of Red House’s Summerfolk festivals, this will be a fun familyfriendly

event in a beautiful farm setting.

When: Saturday, August 4 from 1:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Hobgoblin Music Outdoor Amphitheater, Red Wing

Cost: 12 and under FREE; $25 advance, $30 at gate all others

info: redhouserecords.com/barnfest.html or 651-644-4161

onGoinG

Showdown

Î Kick up your heels and lasso up a

posse of friends: Circus Juventas, North

America’s largest youth circus, proudly

presents a Wild West adventure with

non-stop action including somersaulting

outlaws, lasso-twirling cowboys, aerial

spinning Dance Hall belles, contorting card

players, and the most calamitous bank

heist shootout/parkour extravaganza on

the wall trampoline ever staged under a

big top. In the tradition of Cirque du Soleil,

Showdown features traditional circus acts

by advanced-level students.

When: August 2 to 19 at various times

Where: Circus Juventas, St. Paul

Cost: $13.50 to $30

info: circusjuventas.org or 651-699-8229

26 August 2012

Looney days

Î The biggest event in the small town of

Vergas every year, Looney Days includes

a loon calling contest, dancing on main

street, parade, bingo, kid’s games, and

more.

When: August 9 to 12

Where: Vergas, in northwest Minnesota

Cost: FREE

info: facebook.com/vergaslooneydays

Seussical

Î This musical extravaganza includes

everyone’s favorite characters: the Cat in

the Hat, Horton, Mayzie La Bird, the Whos

and Gertrude McFuzz who will teach an

unforgettable lesson about loyalty and the

power of community.

When: Through August 5

Î Join the official Bike

Walk Move event on

this family biking event

that celebrates and

creates awareness of

the growing presence

of kids and families on

bikes. Meet at Farview

Park for a Mississippi

River Ride that will end

at the North Mississippi

River Park playground.

Rides are typically

three miles in length at a 5-6 mph pace on quiet

residential streets. Riding is done as a group and will

travel as fast as the slowest riders. Helmets are required

for all riders.

When: Saturday, August 18 from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Meet at Farview Park, 621 29th Ave. N in

Minneapolis

Cost: FREE

info: minneapolismn.gov/bicycles/events

or 612-333-3410

Where: Stages Theatre Company at

Hopkins Center for the Arts

Cost: Prices vary depending upon age

(from $0 to $15)

info: stagestheatre.org or 952-979-1111

renaissance festival

Î Celebrating its 42nd season, the

Minnesota renaissance festival is a

long-standing tradition with themed

weekends, free entertainment, parade,

marketplace, jousting, and more. New

this year: wiener dog races, artisan

appreciation weekends, and new secret

garden featuring fairy houses.

When: Weekends beginning August 18

through September 30 from 9:00 a.m.

to 7:00 p.m.

Where: Two miles past the intersection


of 169 and Hwy 41 in Shakopee

Cost: Discount coupons available; buy in

advance discounts, prices vary—see

website

info: renaissancefest.com or

952-445-7361

minnesota State fair

Î The Minnesota State Fair is one of the

largest and best-attended expositions

in the world, attracting nearly 1.8 million

visitors annually. Showcasing Minnesota’s

finest agriculture, art and industry, the

Great Minnesota Get-Together is always

Twelve Days of Fun.

When: August 23 through September 3,

6:00 a.m. to midnight

Where: 1265 North Snelling Avenue, St.

Paul, MN 55108

Cost: Under 5: Free; 5 to 12 and 65 and

over, $10; 13–64: $12

info: mnstatefair.org or 651-288-4400

Sparky the Sea Lion Show

“Zoolympics”

Î This year, in honor of the 2012 Summer

Olympics in London, Sparky the Sea Lion

is competing in her own version of the

games, the Zoolympics. Sparky will test her

skills in competition against sharks, puffins,

and even jellyfish in events that highlight

the natural behaviors of the oceans’

inhabitants!

When: 11:30 p.m. daily; add’l show at

3:00 p.m. weekends and holidays

Where: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory,

St. Paul

Cost: FREE; voluntary donation

info: comozooconservatory.org or

651-487-8200

minnesota fringe festival

Î For 11 days, over a thousand artists

present works in every discipline and genre.

A lottery determines which of nearly 400

applicants win production slots in the

festival. 165 different theatrical productions,

each no longer than 60 minutes.

When: August 2–12

Where: 15 stages throughout Minneapolis

and St. Paul

Cost: $4 admission button, then each

show is $12; 12 and under $5, no button

required

info: fringefestival.org or 612-872-1212

dinoSAUrS!

Î Fifteen larger-than-life animatronic

dinosaurs, including the popular

Tyrannosaurus Rex, Giganotosaurus, and

Brachiosaurus, will take up residence along

the Minnesota Zoo’s Northern Trail this

summer. Pre-historic adventure awaits!

When: Through September 3

Where: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley

Cost: Two and under, free; $12 to $18, all

others. Parking, $5

info: mnzoo.org or 952-431-9200

real Pirates

renaissance Festival

Î Ahoy, landlubbers! Hollywood’s

glamorous and adventure-packed

portrayal of pirates has captured our

imaginations for generations. But what

was life on the high seas really like during

the Golden Age of Piracy? You’ll find out

in Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the

Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship.

August 2012 27


out About

When: Through September 3

Where: Science Museum of Minnesota,

St. Paul

Cost: Tickets are timed and dated, cost

varies from $12 to $25

info: smm.org or 651-221-9444

Preschool Playdate

Î Each Tuesday, the Science Museum

offers preschool appropriate activities

that will keep little hands busy and

little minds buzzing. A Preschool

Playdates ticket includes admission

to the exhibit galleries, take-home

science experiment, preschool perfect

Science Live performances and science

demonstrations, and various discounts.

When: 10:00 a.m. to noon

Where: Science Museum of Minnesota,

St. Paul

Cost: Under five, FREE; $13 for adults

info: smm.org/playdates or

651-221-9444

Wee Wednesdays

Î Wee Wednesdays have plenty to see

and do for toddlers and their families. Free,

educational programming geared toward

children five and under; also features handson

activities and more.

When: Every Wednesday beginning at

10:30 a.m.

Where: Midtown Global Market,

Minneapolis

Cost: FREE

info: midtownglobalmarket.org or

612-872-4041

family night at the

Global market

Î Free live music, a children’s play area,

and free balloons for the first 50 children.

Businesses will validate your parking (for

up to three hours) with purchase if you

park in the 10th Avenue parking ramp.

When: Every Friday from

5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Midtown Global Market,

Minneapolis

Cost: FREE

info: midtownglobalmarket.org or

612-872-4041

28 August 2012

1 WedneSdAy

the toonies

Î An hour of kid-focused, interactive fun

and music at Woodbury Lakes.

When: 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Where: Woodbury Lakes Shopping

Center, outside

Cost: FREE

info: woodburylakes.com or

651-251-9500

Adventures of

Katie tomatie

Î Original family-friendly live puppet

theater’s Driveway Tour. Katie Tomatie is

the most well-known and popular of the

Driveway Tour shows.

When: 7:00 p.m.

Where: Lacey driveway, 1508 Memorial

Parkway, Minneapolis

Cost: Pay-as-able (suggested $5 for

adults $2 for kids)

info: openeyetheatre.org

2 thUrSdAy

Bloomington Jazz festival

Î A premier jazz event with Steve Clarke

and the Working Stiffs at 7:00 p.m. and

About the cAlendAR

Minnesota Parent welcomes

information about events for

families throughout the state of

Minnesota. Calendar listings are

FREE and can be submitted online

at mnpubs.com; click on Events >

Submit an event. You can submit a

listing at any time, but the deadline

for possible inclusion in the print

publication is six weeks prior to the

month of publication. (For example,

June 15 for the August issue.)

All events are subject to change.

Be certain to check with the event

sponsor either by visiting the website

or calling, to ensure the featured event

is still viable.

Events taking place for more than

one weekend in length will be listed in

our “Ongoing” area, space permitting.

George Maurer Big Band at 8:30 p.m.

When: 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.

Where: Normandale Lake Bandshell,

Bloomington

Cost: FREE

info: ci.bloomington.mn.us or

952-563-8877

davina and the Vagabonds

Î Bring the family and a blanket to lie on

while you enjoy music and grilled fare from

Lakes Tavern & Grill.

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Woodbury Lakes Shopping

Center, outside

Cost: FREE music

info: woodburylakes.com or

651-251-9500

the Adventures

of Juan Bobo

Î Original family-friendly live puppet

theater’s Driveway Tour. Juan Bobo is a

perennial favorite and is performed in

English and Spanish.

When: 7:00 p.m.

Where: Mounds View Park, 10 Mounds

Blvd., St. Paul

Cost: Pay-as-able (suggested $5 for

adults $2 for kids)

info: openeyetheatre.org

3 fridAy

ethan Bortnick “it’s All

About music” tour

Î Eleven-year-old musical sensation Ethan

Bortnick will appear with special guests,

The Kidz Bop Kids.

When: 7:00 p.m.

Where: Burnsville Performing Arts

Center, Burnsville

Cost: From $24.50

info: burnsvillepac.com or 952-895-4685

Uptown Art fair

Î This three-day fine arts festival allows

you to browse both professional and youth

artist’s booths, watch live art and kidfriendly

acts on the performance stage,


enjoy activities at the family imagination

station, nosh on festival food and

beverages, participate in family activities,

win prizes at the Uptown booth and more!

When: noon to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Lake St. and Hennepin Ave.

intersection, Minneapolis

Cost: FREE

info: uptownartfair.com

thomas the tank engine

Î Take a 25 minute ride with Thomas the

Tank Engine. Games and activities, meet Sir

Topham Hatt, storytelling, video viewing

and live music by Mr. Billy.

When: Trains depart hourly between

9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Where: 506 West Michigan Street,

Duluth

Cost: $18 plus tax for ages 2 and up

info: thomasandfriends.com/dowt or

218-722-1273

4 SAtUrdAy

free 1st Saturdays

at the Walker Art Center:

Garden Quest

Î For the summer season, the Walker’s

monthly family day gets some fresh air

and invigorating ideas. Enjoy outdoor

adventures designed by practitioners,

thinkers, and makers from a variety of

disciplines. This August, live action roleplaying

(LARP) transforms the Garden into

a land of mythical heroes and foes.

When: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (family

activities until 3:00)

Where: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Cost: FREE

info: walkerart.org or 612-375-7600

red house Barnfest

Î See description, Parent Picks, page 26

When: 1:00 to 7:30 p.m.

thomas the tank engine

Î See description, Friday, August 3

When: Trains depart hourly between

9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

August 2012 29


out About

Art festival triple Play

Î With free Metro Transit rides to keep you

moving between events, you will have your

choice of the Uptown Art Fair at Hennepin/

Lake, Loring Park Art Festival at Oak

Grove/Hennepin, and Powderhorn Art Fair

at 35th and Chicago.

When: Uptown: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.;

Powderhorn and Loring Park: 10:00

a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where: See above

Cost: FREE

info: uptownartfair.com;

loringparkartfestival.com;

powderhornartfair.com

Saturday Live!

Woodland Puppets

Î A variety show that plays host to a

constantly changing line-up of acts. You

never know who you’ll find on stage—and

sometimes the MC’s not sure either! Enjoy a

fabulous puppet show for all ages.

When: 11:15 a.m. to noon

Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central

Library

Cost: FREE

info: sppl.org/grade-school/visit/

saturday-live or 651-266-7034

free family flicks: Coraline

Î Enjoy a free movie at the Mall of America.

First-come, first-served to theater capacity.

When: 10:00 a.m.

Where: Theatres at Mall of America,

Bloomington

Cost: FREE

info: theatresmoa.com

5 SUndAy

Art festival triple Play

Î See description, Saturday, August 4

When: All fairs: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

thomas the tank engine

Î See description, Friday, August 3

When: Trains depart hourly between

9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

30 August 2012

7 tUeSdAy

family fun tuesdays:

Postcards of South

America: nicolas Carter

Î Discover the dramatic landscapes of

South America, try out new dance steps,

perform Carnival music with percussion

instruments, and meet characters from

these distant places. Puppets, live music

and visual images will expand everyone’s

understanding of the geography, culture

and people of South America.

When: 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Where: Caponi Art Park sculpture

garden, Eagan

Cost: FREE; $4 per person suggested

donation to support the park

info: caponiartpark.org or 651-454-9412

8 WedneSdAy

mr. Jim

Î An hour of kid-focused, interactive fun

and music at Woodbury Lakes.

When: 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Where: Woodbury Lakes Shopping

Center, outside

Cost: FREE

info: woodburylakes.com or

651-251-9500

Free Family Flicks: Coraline

irish Ceili dance

Î A ceili (pronounced KAY-lee) is a

traditional Irish gathering of fun, fellowship

and laughs. Music by Barra with dance

caller Ann Wiberg. All are welcome!

When: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Where: Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de

Catherine, St. Kate’s, St. Paul

Cost: $5 child admission; $10 adults

info: stkate.edu/Chautauqua or

651-690-6666

9 thUrSdAy

Alison Scott & Kevin Bowe

Î Bring the family and a blanket to lie on

while you enjoy music and grilled fare from

Lakes Tavern & Grill.

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Woodbury Lakes Shopping

Center, outside

Cost: FREE

info: woodburylakes.com or

651-251-9500

10 fridAy

the Wizard of oz

Î Featuring the music and lyrics of the

MGM motion picture score along with its

beloved characters, the entire family will be

captivated as they travel down the yellow


ick road for an unforgettable experience

at the theater.

When: 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Where: Burnsville Performing Arts

Center, Burnsville

Cost: $12 to $14

info: burnsvillepac.com or 952-895-4685

11 SAtUrdAy

Saturday Live!

dakota Wild Animals

Î Meet some reptiles and small mammals

in this entertaining and educational

program for all ages.

When: 11:15 a.m. to noon

Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central

Library

Cost: FREE

info: sppl.org/grade-school/visit/

saturday-live or 651-266-7034

free family flicks:

home Alone 2

Î Enjoy a free movie at the Mall of

America. First-come, first-served to theater

capacity.

When: 10:00 a.m.

Where: Theatres at Mall of America,

Bloomington

Cost: FREE

info: theatresmoa.com

the Wizard of oz

Î See description, Friday, August 10

When: 7:00 p.m.

12 SUndAy

family day at the miA:

Peace Games: inside/out

Î Explore exteriors and interiors, and

design something fabulous for your home.

Be inspired by works created by local kids

with artist Wing Young Huie. Then get

outside and enjoy Peace Games.

When: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Minneapolis Institute of Arts

August 2012 31


out About

Cost: FREE

info: 612-870-3000 or artsmia.org

the Wizard of oz

Î See description, Friday, August 10

When: 1:00 p.m.

14 tUeSdAy

Arty Pants

Î Activities for adults and youngsters

ages three to five. Art projects, films,

gallery activities, and story time.

When: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Cost: FREE with gallery admission;

Walker members and kids ages 12 and

under are always free.

info: walkerart.org or 612-375-7600

family fun tuesdays:

okee dokee Brothers

Î Prepare for a hoe-down with witty

lyrics, off-the-wall humor, strong

musicianship, and a unique folk/

bluegrass style!

When: 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Where: Caponi Art Park sculpture

garden, Eagan

Cost: FREE; $4 per person suggested

donation to support the park

info: caponiartpark.org or 651-454-9412

15 WedneSdAy

ice Cream Social with Paul

imholte

Î Musical stringman Paul Imholte sings

and plays nearly a dozen traditional

instruments including the hammered

dulcimer, fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin,

viola, harmonica, jaw harp and spoons.

When: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Where: Rauenhorst Ballroom, Coeur de

Catherine, St. Kate’s, St. Paul

Cost: $5 child admission; $10 adults

info: stkate.edu/Chautauqua or

651-690-6666

32 August 2012

17 fridAy

Continental divide

music & film festival

Î Friday events include a corn feed, a

large scale street puppet pageant, and a

festival of short films. Music performances,

food booths, and artist displays during the

day; Puppet pageant at 6:00 p.m.; Film

festival after the puppet pageant.

When: 4:00 to 10:30 p.m.

Where: New York Mills

Cost: FREE

info: kulcher.org or 218-385-3339

18 SAtUrdAy

Saturday Live!

Snapdragon Seeds

Î Upbeat, fun educational children’s

music, with the idea that anyone can be

creative. Come and join the fun.

When: 11:15 a.m. to noon

Where: St. Paul Public Library,

Central Library

Cost: FREE

info: sppl.org/grade-school/visit/

saturday-live or 651-266-7034

Kidical mass: mississippi

river ride

Î See description, Parent Picks, page 26

When: 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

free family flicks:

mcKenna Shoots

for the Stars

Î Enjoy a free movie at the Mall of

America. First-come, first-served to theater

capacity.

When: 10:00 a.m.

Where: Theatres at Mall of America,

Bloomington

Cost: FREE

info: theatresmoa.com

Continental divide

music & film festival

Î Saturday concerts include Haley Bonar

Band, the Pines, Erik Koskinen Band,

and the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra,

Tim Sparks, Larry Long, Cactus Blossoms,

Curtis & Loretta. Concerts begin at

12:30 p.m. and continue to 10:00 p.m.

When: 11:00 a.m. gates to 10:00 p.m.

Where: New York Mills

Cost: $20 adults; age 13 to 18, $10;

12 and under FREE. Purchase at

brownpapertickets.com

info: kulcher.org or 218-385-3339

19 SUndAy

free 3rd Sundays at the

minnesota Children’s

museum

Î Visitors can roam the Museum free of

charge every third Sunday of each month.

When: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Minnesota Children’s Museum

Cost: FREE

info: mcm.org or 651-225-6000

monroe Crossing

Bluegrass

Î An electrifying blend of classic

bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt

originals. Their airtight harmonies, razor

sharp arrangements, and on-stage rapport

make them audience favorites.

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: Caponi Art Park Theater in the

Woods, Eagan

Cost: FREE; $5 per person suggested

donation to support the park

info: caponiartpark.org or 651-454-9412

21 tUeSdAy

family fun tuesdays:

Z Puppets rosenschnoz

Î A hilarious take on the historical call

and response hand-puppet tradition.

When a baby goes missing Mr. Punch sets

out to rescue him, unleashing mischief

and mayhem all along the way.


When: 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Where: Caponi Art Park sculpture

garden, Eagan

Cost: FREE; $4 per person suggested

donation to support the park

info: caponiartpark.org or 651-454-9412

23 thUrSdAy

Berry Special Bedtime

Stories: Alligator Baby

Î A fun, interactive story hour including

reading, songs, and games. Each child will

receive a complimentary gift bag filled with

items that tie into the book’s theme. Plus,

children wearing PJs will receive a kid-sized

Berry Smoothie. Bring your favorite blanket!

When: 7:00 p.m.

Where: Dunn Bros. Coffee at Smith

Douglas More house, Eden Prairie

Cost: FREE

info: edenprairiewest.dunnbros.com or

952-934-1045

25 SAtUrdAy

Saturday Live! musician

ross Sutter

Î Enjoy children’s music from America

and Northern Europe played on the guitar,

accordion, dulcimer, and Irish drum.

There’s a lot of audience participation-singing,

dancing, and playing instruments.

When: 11:15 a.m. to noon

Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central

Library

Cost: FREE

info: sppl.org/grade-school/visit/

saturday-live or 651-266-7034

free family flicks:

Journey 2: the

mysterious island

Î Enjoy a free movie at the Mall of

America. First-come, first-served to

theater capacity.

When: 10:00 a.m.

Where: Theatres at Mall of America,

Bloomington

Cost: FREE

info: theatresmoa.com •

August 2012 33


Deputy Mike Dold outside

of Oak View Middle School.

SubmitteD image

Policing the middle

Resource Officer Mike Dold bridges the gap

between youth and law enforcement

By Jennifer Rogers

36 August 2012


August 2012 37


Amidst the shuffling sneakers, multi-colored

hair, and fervent chatter at Oak View Middle

School stands a man dressed in full police

uniform. He’s not there to intimidate. In

fact, he prefers just the opposite. “The kids

will come up to me and ask me about my

Batman Belt,” says Oak View Middle School

Resource Officer, Deputy Mike Dold. Deputy

Dold began work as a School Resource

Officer (SRO) at Oak View in 2007. “This is

the best job I’ve had in law enforcement out

of my 12 years,” says Dold.

The SRO position is core to a strategic

partnership between the Anoka-Hennepin

School District and the Anoka County

Sheriff’s Office; its function is to serve as a

liaison between law enforcement and the

school district’s students and families, as

well as the community at large. The idea

behind the position is that frequent

interaction is the key to dispelling the

anxiety a child might feel when seeing a

uniformed officer.

A typical day for deputy dold

Deputy Dold is present at Oak View

almost every day that school is in session.

He begins his day by planting himself in

the main hallway as the students filter in.

“It’s kind of a general information

gathering every morning,” he says. By

being present and simply observing, Dold

is able to determine if something is amiss.

He can tell if a student might have a bit

more going on than just an off day, merely

by the look on the child’s face, general

posture, or even a disheveled appearance.

Friday afternoons and Monday mornings

are key days for him to be extra alert to

student cues. When he does notice

something wrong, he discreetly follows up

with the student.

Dold spends much of his day walking

the building and checking the doorways,

hallways, and parking lots. He notes that

he has “learned how many paces it is from

one door to the next” because he’s walked

38 August 2012

the halls often. Dold works with Oak View

staff to identify safe areas in each

classroom, and to update them on

building security changes and training

scenarios for potential incidents.

The lunch hour is one of the deputy’s

favorite times of day. The casual passerby

would never guess by looking at his tall

stature and slim frame, but he admits to

being known for occasionally pushing

himself to beat his own personal lunchtime

eating record. “They think I’m man

versus food around here,” he says.

Dold’s primary goal is to maximize his

availability to the students and staff.

When he is not patrolling the school

grounds, he likes to make impromptu

classroom visits. According to seventh

grade algebra teacher Sarah Valley, her

students “get really excited to see him in

my room…he has a really good relationship

with the students.”

At end-of-day dismissal, Dold can be

found on the front sidewalk, where he

says goodbye to the students while

5 thinGs

you didn’t

know

About sRos

observing for unusual behavior or traffic

issues. “Many parents are appreciative

that we have him as present as we can out

in the parking lot for mornings and

afternoons,” says Oak View Principal,

Gary Lundeen.

Once students are safely on their way

home, Dold checks in with at least one of

his three assigned elementary schools

each day, with the intent of visiting each

at least twice per week.

his other Sro duties

If the deputy has a twinkle in his eye, he’s

likely speaking about his educational

presentations. He incorporates numerous

videos, photos, and fun, playful interaction

as a means of positively engaging

students. Dold also fields special requests

for presentations, such as a day-long

program to third graders on general safety

issues. At the middle school level, Deputy

Dold works closely with the health and

physical education teachers on topics

1. Nearly 70% of all national public middle schools have at

least one assigned SRO.

2. The SRO prototype was first introduced in Michigan during

the mid-1950s.

3. Some Minnesota SROs can choose to wear civilian clothes

while on school patrol.

4. The role of the SRO is often more preventive than reactive.

5. Approximately 95% of SROs nationwide carry a firearm.


such as alcohol, narcotics, and tobacco

awareness and prevention.

He prefers a practical approach to his

presentations. With a narcotics presentation,

for example, he gives students current

information about the most common

drugs in Anoka County. He shows corresponding

photos of the drugs, how they are

made, where they source from, and how to

identify paraphernalia. Dold frequently

updates his presentation to go with

currently trending drugs, such as bath

salts, synthetics, heroin, and prescription

medications. He also discusses some of the

more common reasons why people get

involved with drugs and demonstrates

relatable, scenario-based avoidance

strategies, should students fi nd themselves

in a risky situation.

Keeping busy

At the elementary school level, Dold

works primarily with fi fth graders at

Andover, Rum River, and Crooked Lake

Elementary schools. During his regular

visits to these schools, he lays the

groundwork for establishing a long-term

relationship with the students. “They

remember him from the elementary

[level],” says Principal Lundeen. “In fact,

a lot of the kids that stop [and] joke with

him in the hallway are kids that

remember him from doing presentations

in the elementary school.”

school sAFety

ResouRces FoR PARents

Healthychildren.org

Safety on the way to school

tinyurl.com/6prjzke

Kidpower.org

Safety issues and prevention

strategies on numerous topics

tinyurl.com/6v8l4p2

National Crime Prevention Council

School safety

ncpc.org/topics/school-safety

National School Safety and Security

Services

Parents and school safety

schoolsecurity.org/faq/parents.html

August 2012 39


40 August 2012

According to Dold, he encounters the

most issues at the seventh grade level.

Between sixth grade and seventh grade,

“They go home for summer vacation, and

they come back as seventh graders, and

it’s like the cocoon just opened. And now

they want to get into everything,” he says.

Issues occur with both boys and girls, and

each requires a different type of counseling

due to the nature of how they deal

with conflict. Dold says, “Girls hold a

grudge; boys beat each other up and are

friends the next day. They’re obviously at

that age right now where not all decisions

are the best decisions that they make.

Seventh or eighth grade level, they want

to get into that experimentation mode.”

Deputy Dold believes the younger age

groups talk with him more than highschool

age students would. He understands

the middle school kids are at an

age where teaching proactive thinking

skills and preventative education has a

significant impact on their choices.

Sro significance

One of the most rewarding parts of his job

is the sincere appreciation he receives

from students following a long presentation.

“A few days later, I’ll get an envelope

from one of the elementary [schools] just

full of thank-you letters,” he says.

By contrast, Dold notes one of the more

frustrating aspects of his position is

“dealing with difficult parents” who deny

their child’s involvement in an incident.

“I’ve had some to the point where I’ve

called for backup cars and escorted them

out of the building,” he says.

At the end of the day, if relatively few

criminal issues are present in Oak View

middle school, why is this job so

important? He feels his role is essential

for the purposes of bridging the gap

between youth and law enforcement,

establishing safe relationships built on

trust, and protecting students and staff

from themselves and their environment.

“It’s another route for the kids to go to.

You can be a disciplinarian, you can be

somebody that’s got a lot of advice, and

you can be a friend at the same time,”

he says. •


By Kathleen Stoehr

Mini drive

school

is cool

Can’t afford to get your 16-year-old a fancy sports car? Who

are we kidding? But with these 8GB USB 2.0 fl ash drives

shaped like an Aston Martin, Volkswagen Beetle, Mini

Cooper, Lamborghini, and Porsche, all built with 8GB

memory space, we can assuage the need for speed. The

headlights even light up when plugged into the USB port.

Available at Staples stores and Staples.com; about $15

The new lunch box

Dump paper lunch bags forever with

functional and fun Dabbawalla lunch

bags. One hundred percent biodegradable,

yet sturdy enough to last

from song circle to sixth grade, these

cute lunch bags will insulate for

hours and are free of toxins, are

reusable, stain resistant, and are

(yay!) machine washable. Multiple

styles available for every personality.

Dabbawallabags.com;

starting at $25

Raskullzy packs

Head back to school with the

coolest 3D toy-inspired

backpack ever. Raskullz take

the “boring” out of an

everyday pack and put the

animal in. We want all of

them, they’re so ridiculously

cute. This is the deal: when

we can fi nd a product kids

need to have and see that it

has been turned into something

kids want to have —

well, what’s better than that?

Solid construction, too.

Available at Target and raskullz.com;

about $27

Locker luv

Yes, decorating the locker is big business. This cute shag rug is

inexpensive enough, however, that it won’t take a bite out of your

back to school budget. Available

in four bright colors, it’s

designed to fi t a standard locker

size. Non-skid backing holds it

in place. Available in one size

(10.75” x 11.5”) in pink, blue,

purple and black.

Available at Staples stores and

Staples.com; about $6

Keep it cool

PVC free, this cute soft insulated lunch

bag incorporates Microban to provide

antimicrobial protection and inhibit

bacterial odors and stains. Plenty of

colors and sizes available. Padded

handle with attachable Swing Clip.

Amazon.com or

californiainnovations.com; about $17

August 2012 41


ABC, 123

Some kids will miss the sun and fun of summer,

but get them excited and ready for a new school year

by reading these books!

By Valerie Turgeon

Zapato Power: freddie

ramos Zooms to the rescue

By Jacqueline Jules, Illustrated by

Miguel Benitez

Albert Whitman & Company, $4.99


A purple squirrel, silver goggles, and

a possible train wreck are all part of

a typical school day for Freddie

Ramos. This chapter book will

inspire imagination and keep kids

zooming through the pages of

Freddie’s unusual adventures.

42 August 2012

dinosaur Starts School

By Pamela Duncan Edwards, Illustrated by

Debora Allwright

Albert Whitman & Company, $6.99


Dinosaur has some typical fi rst day of school

jitters. With the help of his good friend,

Dinosaur fi nds that he didn’t need to be

so afraid.

Unlikely friendships

By Jennifer S. Holland

Workman Publishing Company, Inc., $7.95


We like to think these books will help your

child make his or her own unlikely friendships:

No one would expect that two such

disparate animals could ever get along. This

book series highlights different real life animal

friendships with stories of how they came to

be so close, along with pictures that will make

you say, “awwww.”

hands off , harry

By Rosemary Wells

HarperCollins Children’s Books, $14.99


Harry just can’t keep to himself, but

one of the students comes up with an

idea to help Harry learn how to

respect others. Bright illustrations

and textured alligator skin on the

cover make it so kids can’t keep their

hands off of this book!

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus

By Barbara Park, Illustrated by Denise Brunkus

Random House Children’s Books


It’s the 20th anniversary of Junie B. Jones and to celebrate,

there is a new full-color edition with 14 pages of neverbefore-seen

material. The most beloved kindergartener

shares her tale of the fi rst day of school, riding the bus, her

best friends, and using crutches.


August 2012 43


44 August 2012


August 2012 45


“I want my songs to open up a child’s mind to wonder and

encourage them to ask questions about the universe.”

rEaL DaD

Steven Sanders

“Twinkle Twinkle Satellite, miles away and still in sight.” Wait—those aren’t

the correct words to the popular children’s song! Indeed they aren’t. Steve Sanders,

owner and lead songwriter for Snapdragon Seeds, changed the lyrics. Founded in

2011, Sanders’ business focuses on creating educational music for children. After

leaving his real estate marketing job of 15 years, Sanders decided to make his passion

for music into a full-time job. Steve has

big goals for Snapdragon music, but he

still knows what’s most important—family.

While balancing a life of songwriting,

traveling around the state for

performances, and promoting his music,

he still puts family first and is able to be a

stay-at-home dad to his two children.

— Valerie Turgeon

46 August 2012

Q&a

photo by romy akerberg

What influenced you, or inspired you to

start Snapdragon Seeds Music?

I’ve always been passionate about music,

but I did choose to work in a business

setting for most of my career and be a

musician just part-time. In 2004 I started

volunteering at the Children’s Museum with

two programs: Draw in the Music and

Music on the Move. That’s when I started

getting seriously involved with kid’s

educational music. In 2010 I started

realizing there was lots of opportunity to

perform in other parts of the city and I

recognized that there is a need for music

education in the community.

How do you keep the balance

of work and family life?

I have a full-time job with keeping up

Snapdragon Seeds, but it has part-time

availability so I can still stay at home with

my kids—my son, age two, and one-yearold

daughter. Two days a week I have a

babysitter so I can go to gigs, and work on

running the business. I get the most of

both worlds. I travel around Minnesota

for gigs, but I don’t want to go coast to

coast. Right now my family is my main

focus. But, there’s still always music

around the house. My wife plays classical

piano and my son has a little guitar and

likes to bang on the piano.

What are your songs about?

I want to stress the educational message of

my music. There are bands who create

music for kids that is fantastic and is very

professional, and it helps kids expand their

imagination, but it’s not as educational as it

could be. My music doesn’t have a particular

theme, but I want my songs to open up

a child’s mind to wonder and encourage

them to ask questions about the universe.

For one song I took the traditional nursery

rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and gave it

new verses. I want kids to know that when

you look up at the sky, there aren’t just stars

there, but there are other things like moving

satellites. It’s not just typical “Wheels on the

Bus” kind of music.

What’s been the biggest reward?

At one show recently, at the end of the

song, the kids finished the lyric. That

shows that the kids aren’t only listening

and having fun with the music, but they

are remembering the ideas. That was

one of the happiest moments of my

music career.

For more information, visit

Snapdragonseedsmusic.com.