January 2021   Oklahoma’s Award-Winning Magazine for Parents & Families   www.tulsakids.com


Your care is our calling.

                     At Ascension St. John, you’ll find a different kind of relationship between you and your
                     care team. It starts with getting to know you, so we can deliver a personalized care
                     plan that’s right for you. Whether your need is simple or complex, we connect the
                     dots for your care — from a conversation with your doctor to the right specialist who
                     provides you with leading-edge treatment every step of the way. And we have strict
                     precautions in place for your safety while in our care. Because when it comes
                     to the health of you and your family, your care is our calling.

                     Don’t delay, get care you need today —
                     or when and where you need it.                                                             GetStJohnCare.com

© Ascension 2021. All rights reserved.
Small class sizes.                                  162-acre campus.

   Private tours offered by appointment Monday-Friday from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
   For virtual campus tours and more information about admission or
   financial aid, call 918-879-4755. Or visit hollandhall.org/admission.
    Little birdy told me

    is open for appointments!

    Details at tulsazoo.org/cne

2    JANUARY 2021                 W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
Grocery shopping for
    your family just got easier.
              Shop Walmart on Instacart and get
             same-day delivery, right to your door.

Delivery subject to availability. Instacart is not a retailer or seller. Instacart and/or certain retailers, may not be available
  in all zip codes. Subject to Instacart Terms of Service. Walmart and the Spark logo are trademarks of Walmart Inc.
                                                     W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M
               Instacart and the Instacart carrot logo are trademarks of Maplebear Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                                                                              JANUARY   2021   3
      Be the example.
   Wear a mask and follow
COVID-19 precautions regularly.

Protect yourself, your loved ones
      and our community.

       Spread Care. Not COVID.
tulsakids                                 January 2021

what’s inside
Volume XXXIV, Number 1                              www.tulsakids.com
                                                                              7-8  NEWS & NOTES

                                                                              16-17 FEATURE
                                                                                    Picture Books Help Introduce Truth
                                                                                    and Empathy to Children

                                                                                    By Quraysh Ali Lansana

                                                                              18-19 EDUCATION
                                                                                    Tips for Choosing a School
                                                                                    By Denise Yearian

TRUTH AND EMPATHY TO CHILDREN                                                 IN EVERY ISSUE
                                                                              10    STAGES: Babies & Toddlers
                                                                                    Tips for Building Emotional Vocabulary
                                                                                    By Kiley Roberson

                                                                              12-13 STAGES: School Age
                                                                                    Make Reading with Your Child
                                                                                    a New Year’s Resolution
                                                                                    By Mary Beth Ritchie, LCSW

                                                                              14    STAGES: Tweens & Teens
                                                                                    Exercise: A Pandemic Prescription
                                                                                    By Julie Wenger Watson

                                                                              20    A DAD’S VIEW
                                                                                    Lucy and Ethel in Middle School
                                                                                    By Rep. John Waldron

                                                                              21    Tulsakids.com

  B Y Q U RAY SH ALI LANSANA                                       16-17            What’s Going On(line)?

                                                                              22-23 BOOKS
                                                                                    Magic Trick: Art, Reality, and
                                                                                    Books to Treasure
                                                                                    By Laura Raphael, MA, MLIS,
                                                                                    Children’s Services Coordinator, TCCL

                                                                              26-29 COMMUNITY CALENDAR
                                                                                    By Tara Rittler

                                                                              30-31 GREEN COUNTRY GROWN-UP
                                                                                    Meet Teressa Lee: Happy Hands
                                                                                    and Happy Heart
                                                                                    By Nancy A. Moore
10         Tips for Building
           Emotional Vocabulary    18-19
                                           Tips for Choosing Schools
                                                                              32-33 GET COOKING
                                                                                    Nothing Says “Comfort” Quite Like
                                                                                    Warm Pasta Dishes
                                                                                    By Natalie Mikles

                                                                              40    I’M A TULSA KID
                                                                                    Sophie Raskin: Singer/Songwriter
                                                                                    By Sheeba Atiqi

                                                                              37-39 SPECIAL SECTION:
                                                                                    EDUCATION & ENRICHMENT GUIDE

22-23 Magic Trick: Art, Reality,
      and Books to Treasure        32-33
                                           Nothing says “Comfort” Quite
                                           Like Warm Pasta Dishes

                                            W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M                              JANUARY 2021        5
editor’s note                                                                                                                      tulsakids
                                                                                                                                    FOR PARENTS. FOR FAMILIES. FOR LIFE.

Looking Forward to 2021                                                                                                           Publisher:
                                                                                                                                  Associate Publisher
                                                                                                                                                      Charles Foshee

Like many of you, I wasn’t sorry to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. Life was                                                     & Editor In Chief:	Betty Casey
disrupted in so many ways by the pandemic. It’s almost mind-boggling to                                                           Treasurer &
                                                                                                                                  Comptroller 	Debbie Talley
think that at this time last year, we were going about our normal lives. Anoth-
                                                                                                                                  Web Editor:	Tara Rittler
er major historical event that dove-tailed with the pandemic was the murder
                                                                                                                                  Advertising Sales:	Brandi Moore
of George Floyd, and the subsequent protests against systemic racism that it                                                      	Lindsey Copes
ignited around the world. If only there were a vaccine for that.                                                                  Production:         Charles Foshee
                                                                                                                                                      Johnny King
As a small contribution to understanding, TulsaKids teamed up with OSU-Tul-
                                                                                                                                  Cover Photo:        Andrea Murphy
sa and the Tri-City Collective for a series of Facebook Live events called “Dis-                                                                      Photography
mantling Racism.” Our January event about the impact of Martin Luther King,                                                       Distribution:       Joan Perez
Jr. beyond “I Have a Dream” will be on Wed., January 20 from noon to 1 p.m. I                                                     Editorial & Special 	Danielle Hill
hope you will join us.                                                                                                            Projects Assistant
The pandemic has brought much suffering, but also much creativity, from                                                           Contributing Writers:
                                                                                                                                  	Denise Yearian
how students are learning to, in our case, how we have expanded the reach of                                                        Kiley Roberson
TulsaKids Magazine by delivering almost 120,000 digital editions into homes                                                       	Mary Beth Ritchie
with children each month.                                                                                                           Julie Wenger Watson
                                                                                                                                    John Waldron
As the vaccine makes its way into our lives, we can look forward to more                                                          	Laura Raphael
openings of businesses, schools, places of worship and restaurants, not to                                                        	Nancy A. Moore
mention participating in social activities that we may have taken for granted                                                     	Natalie Mikles
                                                                                                                                  	Sheeba Atiqi
in the past.                                                                                                                      	Quraysh Ali Lansana
Life for parents certainly doesn’t stop. It may have been different last year,
but moms and dads are still caring for kids and helping them move toward a
bright future. After all, having children assumes a certain belief in the future,
that life will be even better for our children as they grow to adulthood. In the
face of uncertainty, we may have nothing but hope and the ability to do the
small things that improve our lives and the lives of those around us.
As you read this issue, you’ll find some comfort in comfort food. Natalie Mikles’
recipe column has some delicious, warm pasta meals for the cold month
ahead.                                                                                                                              TK            PUBLISHING               inc.

And, many of you are spending more time at home with your children. This
is an opportunity to teach your children and to share your values. So, when                                                            TulsaKids is published monthly by
                                                                                                                                              TK Publishing, Inc.,
your toddler asks you to read the same book for the one-hundredth time,                                                                      1622 So. Denver Ave.,
don’t despair. Your child is learning so                                                                                                        Tulsa, OK 74119
                                                                                                                                                 (918) 582-8504
many important things. Read Quraysh Ali                                                                                                       FAX (918) 583-1366
                                                                                                                                         Website: www.tulsakids.com
Lansana’s piece about reading, and also                                                                                                    ©TK Publishing, Inc. 2020.
Mary Beth Ritchie’s column about how to                                                                                                       All Rights Reserved.
                                                                                                                                          Volume XXXIV, Number 1
maximize your child’s experience.
You’ll also find our annual Education &                                                                                                     publisher@tulsakids.com
Enrichment Guide in this issue. If you’re                                                                                                        Editor-In-Chief
looking for a school, start with this guide,       Betty Casey                                                                                editor@tulsakids.com
                                                   associate publisher and                                                                          Calendar
and use the tips in our Choosing a School                                                                                              (submit by 10th of the month prior)
                                                   editor in chief
article to help guide you.                                                                                                                   calendar@tulsakids.com
                                                                                                                                  Articles and advertisements in TulsaKids do
                                                                                                                                  not necessarily reflect the opinions of the
                                                                                                                                  magazine or TK Publishing, Inc. We do not
                                                                                                                                  assume responsibility for statements made
                                                                                                                                  by advertisers or editorial contributors. The
                                                                                                                                  acceptance of advertising by TulsaKids does
                                                                                                                                  not constitute an endorsement of the prod-
                                                                                                                                  ucts, services, or information. We do not
                              If you like to read TulsaKids, you may not know that                              ON OUR COVER:     knowingly present any product or service
                                                                                                                                  which is fraudulent or misleading in nature.
                              you can watch us, too! Every Thursday morning on
                              Tulsa’s Channel 8, the local ABC affiliate, join Editor            COVER KID WINNER EVAN CZARNIAK
                              Betty Casey on Good Day Tulsa for tips to plan your               IS DRESSED FOR WINTER IN A WOOL
                              family’s weekend and more. Watch Good Morn-                         COAT, LINED WOOL PANTS, SHIRT
                                                                                                   AND BOWTIE ALL FROM LOLLY                      MEMBER OF
                                                               ing Oklahoma on                    GARDEN CHILDREN’S CLOTHING
                                                               Tuesdays for tips on                      IN UTICA SQUARE.
                                                               timely topics and fam-
                                                               ily information you’ll                  PHOTOGRAPHY BY
                                                               want to know.                      ANDREA MURPHY PHOTOGRAPHY

6        JANUARY 2021                                                        W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
news & notes

     The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is inviting writers who are
parents of dependent children to apply for the My Time fellowship funded by the Sustainable Arts
Foundation. Work may be any literary genre: fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, script or screenplay.
Prior publication is not a requirement.
     The fellowship includes a one-week residency at Dairy Hollow and a $400 stipend to cover
childcare and/or travel costs. Each writers’ suite has a bedroom, private bathroom, writing space and
wireless internet. A European-style dinner is prepared five nights a week in the community dining
room, and the kitchen is stocked with breakfast and lunch basics.
     Applications must be accompanied by a writing sample and a non-refundable $35 application
fee. Deadline to apply is Monday, March 15, 2021. For more information and an application, go to

                                       TULSA EDUCARE OPENS NEW CENTER
                                            Tulsa Educare recently opened a new facility, Tulsa Educare-Celia Clinton. Tulsa Educare
                                       provides year-round early learning and family engagement for children in under-resourced commu-
                                       nities. With the addition of the new center, the Tulsa Educare system can now provide education
                                       and care for more than 650 children from 6 weeks old through age 4 with full-day, year-round early
                                       childhood education and family support services.
                                            For more information, visit www.TulsaEducare.org.

     If you notice a one-cent increase in the cost of your Happy Meal this year, that penny is going to a good
cause. For every Happy Meal sold in a U.S. McDonald’s restaurant during 2021, the additional cent per Happy
Meal will help support Ronald McDonald House Chapters and families. To help further the impact, 100 per-
cent of the funds raised with the Happy Meal penny during 2021 will go to local RMHC Chapters. In addition
to the donation increase, McDonald’s will release a 2021 RMHC- branded Happy Meal box to help further
spread awareness of their mission.

                                        PHOTOGRAPHY ARTIST LESLIE HOYT
                                             Our long-time cover photographer, Leslie Hoyt, shot her last TulsaKids cover in December.
                                        Over the years, Leslie has photographed the smiling (and sometimes not smiling) faces of children
                                        and teens who have graced our covers. Whether it was an uncooperative 2-year-old or a perfect
                                        12-year-old, Leslie was always able to get the shot. She has been honored by the Parenting Media
                                        Association (PMA), our professional organization, for her work.
                                             But, like many creative people, she is taking on new imaginative challenges. Moving more
                                        toward art photography, Leslie is creating art images that will add a unique design element to
                                        homes and businesses. You can see one of her images here, but there are many more incredible
                                        works on her website.
                                             We will miss Leslie and her talents, but we wish her well with her new endeavor.
                                             To see more of Leslie Hoyt’s fine art, go to https://lesliehoyt.com.

                                                             W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M                            JANUARY 2021        7
          Tulsa author Cheryl Alfrey
    Waldeck has released a series
    of eight children’s historical fic-
    tion adventure books designed
    for young readers ages 6-10. The
    eight books in the series detail the
    adventures of a fearless young girl
    named Meridian Playa who travels
    through time on the wind. In a flur-
    ry of white light and swirling mist,
    Meridian Playa travels back in time
    and around the globe, where she
    experiences the culture, people and
    sights of each location.
          Waldeck hopes to engage
    young chapter-book readers in
    Meridian’s adventures, while also
                                                                                                                   Don’t Miss Out!
    providing social studies, geography, history and language les-                                   TulsaKids Summer Camps & Activities Guide
    sons along the way. Each book culminates with Meridian taking
    part in a historical event in real time. In the most recent book,                                               March 2021
    Meridain travels to1889 Paris, France, where she climbs to the
    top of the Eiffel Tower with Gustave Eiffel himself.                                              For information contact Lindsey or Brandi:
          Each book contains a map of the country, 20 words in a
    new language, historically accurate                                                        Lindseycopestk@gmail.com or Brandimooretk@gmail.com
    descriptions, illustrations by the author, new words to learn and
    a recipe for a new food.
                                                                                                                 or 918.582.8504
          “The Adventures of Meridian Playa” books are available at
    www.cherylwaldeck.com or on Amazon.

                                                                        COME SEE FOR YOURSELF WHY
                                                                        WE’RE PROUD TO BE PATRIOTS
                                                          GET TO KNOW METRO CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
                                                                            METRO CHRISTIAN ACADEMY IS PLEASED TO OFFER
                                                                        WEEKLY TOURS FOR PROSPECTIVE FAMILIES INTERESTED
                                                                           IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT OUR FULLY ACCREDITED,
                                                                                   COLLEGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL SERVING
                                                                            STUDENTS IN PRESCHOOL THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL.

                                                             GO TO VISITMETRO.COM TO SCHEDULE A TOUR OR
                                                         CALL THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE AT 918.745.9868 EXT. 155

             A T H R I V I N G C O M M U N I T Y O F S T U D E N T S , FA M I L I E S , A N D FA C U LT Y W I T H S H A R E D VA L U E S A N D FA I T H .

8       JANUARY 2021                                                   W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
Discover the Power of
• Small Class Sizes (Avg. 10:1)
• Service Oriented
• Accelerated Academics
• Christ-Centered Education                                                ONE
                                                                 Healthy Habit
                                  In 2021, the future looks bright. Make the most of it by adding one healthy
                                  habit to your daily routine. Before you know it, you’ll feel stronger, healthier
                                  and more energetic. Get started with one of these activities:

                                                                                  Drink one more glass of
                                                                                    water per day.

                                  Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies
                                  at each meal.

                                                                          For a better night’s sleep, avoid screen
                                                                          time one hour before bed.

                                  Get 30 minutes of physical activity a day
                                  — and make sure your kids get 60!

                                                       Want more ideas and inspiration?

                                             W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M                                         JANUARY 2021   9
stages: babies & toddlers

                 tips for building
               emotional vocabulary
              s human beings, there                                                                                    using easy words that they can
              are so many emo-                                                                                         understand. You can use picture
              tions we experience                                                                                      books to pair emotions with facial
              throughout our lives.                                                                                    expressions, as well. Doing this
Processing those feelings, truly                                                                                       will help them put a word to
understanding them and what                                                                                            describe exactly how they feel
they mean is an important part                                                                                         instead of speechlessly crying or
of personal growth and develop-                                                                                        relying on tantrums.
ment. Unfortunately, this hard                                                                                               Talk about your own
work of emotional discovery                                                                                            feelings – Remember to also
doesn’t come naturally. Even the                                                                                       lead by example. Talk about
most evolved among us still have                                                                                       your own feelings and show
moments of caveman tendencies.                                                                                         how you express those emotions.
Don’t we all just want to pick                                                                                         As a parent, you are your
something up and throw it when                                                                                         children’s greatest role model.
we’re really angry? What about                                                                                         They will mimic how you speak
feeling like you just want to                                                                                          and what you’re doing. So, be
collapse at the end of a long,                                                                                         careful with how you express
stressful day? Yes, we all feel it…                                                                                    your emotions especially when
but our kids actually do it.                                                                                           you are frustrated or angry.
       That’s right, for young chil-                                                                                         Examples of feeling words–
dren, when words don’t come                                                                                            Try replacing some common feel-
                                                                                                                       ing words with new ones to help
only way they know how to                                                                                              grow your child’s vocabulary.
express their feelings…physical-                                                                                       • Instead of saying, “I am feeling
ly. For pre-school aged children,      and encountering some for the               and bad and that each emotion          good,” teach them to say “I am
this can be exceedingly difficult      first time.                                 has its corresponding causes and       –”: delighted, loved or contented
because they are just entering a              As parents and caregivers,           consequences. They also learn       • Instead of “I feel sad,” try “I
formal learning environment and        it is important for us to help our          how to use the most appropriate        am –”: uncomfortable, worried
atmosphere populated with other        kids develop a wide range of                words that can best describe           or concerned
youngsters who are also lacking        vocabulary for their emotions so            their situation instead of throw-   • Instead of “I am angry,” try
in the self-regulation department.     they can accurately describe how            ing tantrums or resorting to           “I am –”: embarrassed, over-
So when the block tower tips           they feel. By using diverse and             violence to get attention. And at      whelmed or annoyed
over or a coveted toy is picked up     specific words to describe feel-            the same time, we get to support          Enriching your child’s
by someone else, the tears and         ings, you can increase your child’s         their emotional health develop-     emotional vocabulary is a helpful
tantrums begin. So how can we          emotional vocabulary and give               ment from early childhood to        way for them to put a label on
help our kids find ways to cope?       them many words they can use                their adult lives.                  their feelings and take control of
Experts say the best way is to         to describe how they feel in order               So how do you get started      their actions. It also helps build
help them find words.                  to express themselves.                      helping your children build a big   a strong sense of self at a tender
       It is vitally important to             By intervening and teach-            and robust emotional vocabulary?    age, which can definitely help
teach and empower children             ing our kids how to expand their            The American Academy of             your child succeed later on.
to use words to express their          emotional vocabulary, they under-           Pediatrics has the following
emotions. But of course, it is not     stand the subtlety of emotions.             recommendations.
always easy for them. They are         They learn that there is a wide                  Help explain the feeling–
still exploring their own feelings     range of emotions between good              Start by labeling the feeling

10      JANUARY 2021                                             W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M   JANUARY 2021   11
stages: school age

             make reading with
           your child a new year’s
            s we approach the                                                                                           that might not normally come
            beginning of a new                                                                                          up in conversation. Children are
            year, many will consid-                                                                                     exposed to subjects and situa-
            er making resolutions.                                                                                      tions that they may not encounter
One of the most valuable resolu-                                                                                        in their own lives. This can help
tions you might consider making                                                                                         to broaden their understanding of
this year would be to read aloud                                                                                        the world. Discussing these top-
to your children every day. This                                                                                        ics will serve to strengthen the
particular resolution will provide                                                                                      bond between you and your child.
your child with many emotion-                                                                                                  Sharing books with your
al and educational advantages.                                                                                          children will also increase their
Additionally, it will build the bond                                                                                    vocabulary. The language of books
between you and your child. It                                                                                          is different from our everyday oral
can also be a lot of fun!                                                                                               language. It’s much more rich
      Many parents of school-aged                                                                                       and descriptive. This enhanced
children stop reading aloud to                                                                                          vocabulary will lead to improved
them because the children have                                                                                          language and writing skills. These
learned to read independently.                                                                                          abilities will be advantageous for
Don’t let this stop you! There are                                                                                      your children in the academic and
still many benefits to this pleasur-                                                                                    professional worlds.
able activity. At this age, you may                                                                                            Reading to your children can
want to include chapter books.                                                                                          also help to develop their listening
These books will provide more                                                                                           skills, attention spans, and imagi-
complex plots and advanced                                                                                              nations. These qualities will serve
vocabulary. Be sure to discuss                                                                                          them well in school and in life
what you’re reading. This will                                                                                          beyond the classroom. Success
help to develop critical thinking          READING WITH YOUR CHILD BUILDS MULTIPLE SKILLS – AND IT’S FUN!               in the classroom demands strong
skills that will be needed as chil-                                                                                     listening skills. Some suggest that
dren transition from the “learning     are often lessons and life skills           do in this situation?” These con-    the time spent reading together
to read” stage to the “reading to      to be learned from books. Help              versations may also contribute to    will help your child to develop an
learn” stage. The conversations        your child learn to identify these.         building a strong sense of empa-     increased attention span as they
about what you are reading are         Characters may be dealing with              thy in your child.                   focus on the stories. With each
just as important as the actual        some of the same issues as your                   Sharing a book with your       new school year, your child will
time spent reading. This not only      child. This helps to normalize              child is an intimate experience      need an increased attention span
increases the potential for bond-      their feelings and experiences.             that helps to strengthen the bond    and improved listening skills.
ing, but it can also help with cog-    It also opens the door for dis-             between you. There is a physical     Literature opens up a whole new
nitive skills and critical thinking.   cussions between parents and                intimacy because you are usually     world in the imagination. Devel-
Ask open-ended questions such          children. Open-ended questions              in close proximity while reading.    oping the imagination will help
as, “What do you think might           can be helpful with this, too. Try          There is also an emotional intima-   to cultivate creativity, a desirable
happen next?”                          asking questions such as, “How              cy as you share the book togeth-     quality in many areas of life.
      Books can also assist with       do you think that character feels           er. Books offer opportunities to
social-emotional learning. There       right now?”, or “What would you             discuss a wide variety of things                     continued next page

12      JANUARY 2021                                             W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
Developing the habit of read-    ly want to have some of your
ing to your children will result       favorites. Make use of your local
in your child associating reading      library. Choose a combination
with pleasure. This can help your      of fiction and nonfiction books.
child to develop a love of learning,   Librarians will be happy to help
which will promote the lifestyle       you find books that your child will
of a lifelong learner. This is one     enjoy. Most importantly, make
of the most important qualities        this time fun! You want to instill
needed throughout life. Success        a love of reading, so it’s important
in any field depends on continu-       that your child enjoy the expe-
ing to learn.                          rience. Don’t be shy. Use funny
      Are you convinced of the         voices for the characters to help
numerous benefits yet? How will        bring them to life!
you go about creating a plan?                 When contemplating your
                                                                                          Four of the six most recent Bishop Kelley valedictorians are
You may want to establish a spe-       resolutions this year, I hope you                  School of Saint Mary alums.
cial time for reading. Make it part    will consider reading to your
of a daily routine. I chose to read    children every day. The benefits                   In annual standardized testing, School of Saint Mary
with my children right before bed      are undeniable and can last a life-                middle school students test like high school graduates.
each night. It was a pleasant and      time. You will be fostering a love
relaxing activity that was part of     of reading and learning in your                    The school prepares students for academic successes in a
                                                                                          faith-filled, caring environment.
our bedtime routine. You will like-    children. You will be contributing
ly find that your children look        to their success in school and in
forward to this time each day.         life. The relationship between
They will enjoy your undivided
attention as much as the stories.
                                       you and your children will be
                                       strengthened as you have fun
                                                                                                              School of Saint Mary
You do not need to own an              sharing books together. Turn the
                                                                                                              Schedule a tour of the school today.
extensive personal library at your     page to Chapter 2021 with this                                         918-749-9361 schoolofsaintmary.com
home, although you will certain-       valuable New Year’s resolution!

                                                                  W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M                                    JANUARY 2021        13
stages: tweens & teens

        a pandemic prescription
          here’s no way around it.                                                                                          polypropylene is best next to the
          2020 was a stressful year.                                                                                        skin. Avoid all-cotton t-shirts.
          Although the arrival of                                                                                           They can get soggy and cold. The
          the Coronavirus vaccine                                                                                           next layer should be something
is in sight, experts say it will be                                                                                         like a loose-weave wool sweater
some time before things “return                                                                                             to trap air. For colder weather, add
to normal.” In the meantime,                                                                                                an additional layer, like a polar
many of us, including teenagers,                                                                                            fleece. Finally, a breathable layer
are struggling with anxiety and                                                                                             made of water resistant material
depression brought on or exac-                                                                                              helps protect against wind, wet
erbated by the pandemic. While                                                                                              and extreme cold. Don’t forget a
there are many things we simply                                                                                             hat, mittens and wool blend socks
can’t change right now, there are                                                                                           on particularly cold days. Add a
some basic steps we can take to                                                                                             facemask or a scarf, as needed,
keep our families and ourselves                                                                                             then get out and go.
healthy. Exercise is one of them.
Exercise & adolescents
         Most of us are well aware                                                                                          Riverparks.org.
of the importance of exercise for                                                                                                   Check out this website
weight control, disease preven-                                                                                             for an overview of Tulsa’s trail
tion, and mood regulation. Phys-                                                                                            system, including Turkey Moun-
ical activity is particularly critical                                                                                      tain, and printable maps.
for adolescents at a time when
long hours in front of a computer                                                                                           Gatheringplace.org.
screen and decreased social inter-                                                                                                  Find hours, Covid-19
action define the pandemic life-                     EXERCISE BOOSTS PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH.                            updates and details about the
style. Not only does it keep them                                                                                           Sports courts, Skate Park and
physically fit, it’s a natural boost     that “green exercise” also reduc-           run, bike, or hike, there are just     BMX Pump Tracks for this 66.5-
for mental health. Studies show a        es anger and depression and                 so many opportunities to get out       acre park.
sedentary lifestyle is associated        improves mood. Think biking, hik-           and enjoy yourself. In addition,
with a greater risk of depression        ing, walking, running and even              The Gathering Place offers some-       Oxleynaturecenter.org.
by the age of 18.                        jumping rope.                               thing for everyone. I’ve never                  Explore miles of free hik-
                                                   Fortunately, Tulsa offers         seen anything like it.”                ing trails at both Oxley and sister
Exercise during a pandemic               a variety of public spaces suitable                                                park, Red Bud Valley.
         The Centers for Disease         for all kinds of physical activity.         Dress for success
Control recommends 60 minutes                      “The outdoor recreation-                  Ice, wind, rain, snow, and     Parks.tulsacounty.org.
of daily exercise for teens.             al component here is bar none,”             even an occasional balmy day                   A guide to Tulsa’s park
With most organized team sports          notes Joel Koester, director of             - winter in Oklahoma is unpre-         system, including the 192 acres
on hold and access to gyms lim-          sport sales for Tulsa Sports Com-           dictable at best. With the right       of Chandler Park where you can
ited, this is a tough time to get        mission/Tulsa Regional Chamber.             wardrobe, however, your teen           climb rocks and hike trails.
moving. Shifting your fitness            “It’s one of the best infrastruc-           can brave the elements. Layers
focus to the great outdoors can          tures I’ve seen in my travels.              are key for staying dry, warm and      Incog.org.
help. Exercising outside is not          You’ve got this amazing trail               comfortable. Some type of “wick-               Includes maps of Tulsa’s
only a safer way to interact with        system that runs right next to              ing” fiber, like silk, a wool/cotton   recreational trail system.
others right now, studies show           the Arkansas River. Whether you             blend or a synthetic material like

14       JANUARY 2021                                              W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M   JANUARY 2021   15

TRUTH       AND        EMPATHY                TO      CHILDREN
 “In Greenwood, we have everything we need, and it might surprise
         you to know that everyone looks like me.” from Opal’s Greenwood Oasis
     icture books are among the                                                                                         school-aged to read to them.
     greatest resources in an                                                                                                  Dr. Vanessa LoBue, in a
     elementary teacher’s toolbox.                                                                                      2019 article for Psychology Today,
                                                                                                                        writes “…besides talking to
           There were few picture                                                                                       children, reading to them aloud
    books in my home as a child,                                                                                        also likely exposes children to
except for those I checked out                                                                                          new and different words that
from the public library. They were                                                                                      parents don’t often use regularly
too expensive and too non-es-                                                                                           in everyday speech. Along these
sential for my lower-working                                                                                            lines, studies have shown that
class parents’ budget with six                                                                                          the number of words infants pro-
children. Food and electricity                                                                                          duce and understand is predicted
provided enough struggles. But                                                                                          by how much they are read to.
they believed in fostering better                                                                                       Besides benefits for word expo-
lives for their children, and educa-                                                                                    sure, there is also evidence that
tion was at the top of the list. We                                                                                     babies can learn specific content
owned a complete Encyclopedia                                                                                           from books, which can begin
Britannica set, which was paid for                                                                                      even before a baby is born. In
on layaway.                                                                                                             fact, researchers have found that
      Like many people, I was                                                                                           babies can learn the rhythm of a
introduced to picture books in                                                                                          specific storybook in the third tri-
kindergarten at reading time.                                                                                           mester of pregnancy.”
Mrs. Cobles guided us to the                                                                                                   Though babies in the womb
numbered rug to sit, and we                                                                                             are unable to see the illustrations,
drank in the stories and images                    QURAYSH ALI LANSANA, POET, AUTHOR, EDUCATOR                          parents often describe what the
she conjured. As the youngest                                                                                           images detail in their reading and
of six, I knew words had power         those words quite yet.                     me the ability to dream, to imag-     the images color the manner in
from my older siblings, church             But stories and images took            ine. This is one reason why pic-      which the words are rendered.
and 1970s Soul, Funk and R & B         me to places and time periods far          ture books are important, and you
music. I just couldn’t spell most of   removed from Enid. They offered            don’t have to wait until a child is                 continued next page

16       JANUARY 2021                                           W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
Parents, your words matter, at                                                                                          Najah-Amatullah Hylton, and I
every age and stage of a child’s                                                                                        chose to highlight Black excel-
development.                                                                                                            lence over Black pain. We chose
       My career in education offi-                                                                                     to end the story just prior to the
cially began in the early 1990s in                                                                                      Tulsa Race Massacre because we
Chicago. I was a teaching artist                                                                                        believe the horror and violence
with a Chicago Public Schools                                                                                           was too much for the age group
vendor license a few years before                                                                                       to ascertain.
the city would become known as                                                                                               Opal has just turned eight.
the birthplace of contemporary                                                                                          She has just learned to ride her
Arts Education, in part due to the                                                                                      bike and has newly gained the
elimination of art teachers among                                                                                       trust of her parents that she
the rank and file. I hated that art                                                                                     can navigate the neighborhood
teachers were the victims of bud-                                                                                       on her own. This is a universal
get cuts, as many were friends                                                                                          childhood experience. This
and art’s a critical pathway to                                                                                         transcends ethnicity, gender
understanding and respecting                                                                                            and sexual orientation. The
other cultures. But I loved the                                                                                         beauty of picture books is the
freedom to develop my lesson                                                                                            grounding in the familiar.
plans, in partnership with units                                                                                             Opal feels safe and loved in
of study, to help teachers fur-                                                                                         her community. There are folks
ther the learning experience for                                                                                        who are not kin that look out for
their students. I could inform my                                                                                       her, who question why she is on
curricula with language arts, cre-                                                                                      her own on her bike. Opal is run-
ative writing, art, music, current                                                                                      ning an important errand for her
events, history and more.                                                                                               mother, her family. She is being
                                      OPAL’S GREENWOOD OASIS (THE CALLIOPE GROUP, FEB. 2021), COAUTHORED
       The spark that gave birth                                                                                        helpful to her mother.
                                           BY QURAYSH ALI LANSANA AND NAJAH-AMATULLAH HYLTON AND
to Opal’s Greenwood Oasis, my          ILLUSTRATED BY SKIP HILL, IS A CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK ABOUT THIRD-                   Books are written to
new children’s book, was ignited         GRADER OPAL BROWN, WHOSE FAMILY LIVES IN PRE-RACE MASSACRE                     encourage critical thinking, to
in an eighth-grade classroom at        GREENWOOD. OPAL RIDES HER BIKE AROUND GREENWOOD, HELPING HER                     ask questions, to learn about
                                           FAMILY PREPARE FOR THE COMMUNITY’S MEMORIAL DAY PICNIC.
Donoghue Elementary School on                                                                                           history or different ways of
Chicago’s southside in 1995, 25       Tubman, her life, work and                  her many routes to the Prom-          thinking. Miss Gwendolyn
years ago.                            womanhood. I dug deeply into                ised Land. We wore her skin.          Brooks, the first Black person to
       Voicing the margins, the       researching Tubman to discover              The students thrived. We had          receive the Pulitzer Prize and one
under-explored aspects of the         that only two books that detailed           localized and found agency for a      of my mentors, said “Art should
histories of people of color and      her truths existed at the time.             history hundreds of years gone.       move us to think, not tell us
otherwise marginalized humans,        There were hundreds of fictional-           These students found the tether       what to think. We have enough
has been a driving force in my        ized accounts of her life and story,        between yesterday and today,          pundits, preachers and politicians
life since I was an undergraduate     but only two real books of biogra-          and I became enraptured by            who try to tell us what to think.”
journalism student at OU in the       phy. I didn’t want Harriet to live          Tubman for the next several           As parents, you have the ability
early 1980s. It was there I began     in the land of Santa Claus and the          years. They Shall Run: Harriet        and responsibility to mold your
to comprehend the tenuous teth-       Easter Bunny. She was flesh and             Tubman Poems was my graduate          children’s consciousness.
er between yesterday and today.       blood, woman and Black.                     school thesis and my second
My teaching work in Chi-town                The students and I engaged            book of poetry.                       AUTHOR BIO:
only solidified the idea that we      in a series of kinesthetic, oral                  You don’t have to be a          Quraysh Ali Lansana, poet,
cannot arrive at now without          and written exercises examining             multi-degreed person to do this.      author, educator, is a Tulsa Artist
understanding the who, what           the human, political and geo-               You just have to be open to a         Fellow, Writer in Residence and
when, where, why and how the          graphical realities Harriet might           history that is inclusive of all      adjunct professor at OSU-Tulsa,
journey began in the first place.     have endured on her journeys.               involved. You just have to be         a former faculty member of the
       One of my tasks at Dono-       We discussed the weight, both               open to truth. Picture books help     School of the Art Institute of
ghue was to make Civil War            personal and social, of her work.           adults introduce truth and            Chicago and The Juilliard School.
History, a required component         We explored the climate of chat-            empathy to children.                  His most recent titles include
of U.S. History units, tangible and   tel slavery and legislated racism                 Opal’s Greenwood Oasis is       Those Who Stayed: Life in 1921
accessible for Black teens            in which she led hundreds of                a picture book that explores the      Tulsa After the Massacre and
growing up in a neighborhood          enslaved Africans to freedom.               rich, vibrant history of Black life   Opal’s Greenwood Oasis. He is a
grappling with daily surviv-          We checked weather charts                   in the Greenwood District prior       member of Tri-City Collective.
al. I chose to focus on Harriet       and topographical maps along                to its destruction. My coauthor,

                                                                 W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M                                    JANUARY 2021         17

      tips for choosing schools

         he pandemic has thrown                                                                                          child study or spend quality time
         students, parents and                                                                                           together.
         teachers into an educa-
         tional maelstrom. In this                                                                                       7. Schedule a visit
unique time, families are more                                                                                                 This may be difficult due
often focusing on just holding on                                                                                        to Covid guidelines, but if you
today rather than looking to the                                                                                         can, arrange to visit schools that
future. Regardless, how children                                                                                         meet your initial criteria. This will
are being educated has become                                                                                            give you a feel for the school’s
the focus of worldwide attention.                                                                                        academic and developmental
Teachers have become heroes as                                                                                           philosophy. Note, however, that
they create new ways to reach                                                                                            even schools which adhere to
their students, and parents have                                                                                         like-minded philosophies can be
more appreciation for the role of                                                                                        tremendously different. A school
schools in their lives. If you are                                                                                       that seemed to be the perfect
looking at schools, consider                                                                                             fit on the internet, on paper or
these tips.                                                                                                              phone may prove otherwise once
                                                                                                                         you have visited. And the school
1. Get real with                                                                                                         you weren’t initially drawn to
recommendations                                                                                                          may be the “one.” That’s why
       Get input from other parents                                                                                      it’s important that you go. Test it.
you know and trust. At the same       need of constant direction might             teaching philosophy? Is there         Feel it. See what it is like.
time, realize there is no perfect     be more suited to a structured               a vision for the future? Is there
school or one-size-fits-all aca-      environment.                                 anything the school does particu-     8. Meet with authorities
demic setting. Every school has                                                    larly well? What about the curric-         While visiting, spend a few
a different flavor, and one is not    3. Make a list                               ulum? Will it cater to your child’s   minutes talking with the principal
necessarily better than anoth-               Write down what you are               talents, interests, temperament       or school administrator. Discuss
er. It’s that one may be a better     looking for in a school. Be specific         and learning style?                   your child’s needs and ask if the
fit for your child than another.      about ambiance, class size, teach-                                                 school can meet those needs.
Listen to other parents, but also     ing style, curriculum, the role of           5. Don’t let cost limit you           Ask about discipline policies, and
realize that your child may have      art and music, homework and                        Look at a school, even if       expectations.
very different needs than their       where parents fit in the running             you don’t think you can afford it.
children.                             of the school. Then prioritize your          Many academic institutions offer      9. Make observations
                                      list. Some things, such as class             scholarships or have financial             If possible, sit in on classes
2. Consider your child’s              size, a strong art program or reli-          aid based on need, so ask about       and observe the teachers and stu-
individuality                         gious affiliation, may be non-nego-          it. At the same time, ask about       dents. Write down obvious facts
     Take in to account your          tiable. Other things would be nice           what financial expectations may       such as school and class size,
child’s strengths, weaknesses,        but not necessarily mandatory.               exist beyond just tuition.            diversity, ambiance as a whole
interests and talents. Also mull                                                                                         and within individual classrooms,
over what sort of learning envi-      4. Research options                          6. Go the distance, if needed         absence or presence of a dress
ronment your child would be                 Check out schools’ websites,                A ride as far as 30 minutes      code and general demeanor of the
most comfortable in. Self-motivat-    or call and ask for more informa-            may be worth it if the school has     students and teachers. Also take
ed learners, for example, may         tion. Consider each one’s pro-               an environment where your child       note of the students’ attitudes
do well in a program where they       gram, mission, services, faculty             will be happy and thrive. Look        and emotions. Did they appear
get to direct and carry out their     and administration. What makes               for someone to carpool with.
own learning. But a child in          the school unique? What is its               Or use that distance to let your
                                                                                                                                         continued next page

18      JANUARY 2021                                             W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
comfortable and relaxed, or anx-
ious and uptight?                     Questions to Ask When
                                      Considering a School
10. Ask for references                      What is the school’s teach-
     If you haven’t already done      ing philosophy? Is it accredited?
so, get names of several parents            What kinds of books are the
whose children attend the school      children expected to read? Who
that would be willing to talk with    chooses them?
you. Find out what they do and              How and when is writing
don’t like about the school. If you   and composition taught? Is there
can, obtain a few names of par-       time for creative writing?
ents who were not happy with                Is the curriculum established
the school and enrolled their chil-   or does it emerge from the stu-
dren elsewhere. All schools have      dents’ interests?
success stories, but no school              How often do the children
works for every child. Finding out    use textbooks? Workbooks?
about a child who did not thrive      Worksheets?
there can give you a balanced               When do children start get-
perspective.                          ting homework? How much at
                                      what grades?
11. Get your child’s take                   How are the children
     Return to the schools that       assessed?
meet your criteria and bring                When does computer/tech-
your child with you. Have him         nology education start, and what
or her meet the teacher, and if       does it involve?
possible, spend time in the                 What extracurricular activi-
classroom with the other stu-         ties are offered? Is there an
dents. What was his or her            extra cost?
reaction? Did your child seem               How much time is spent on
comfortable with the school?          art, music, drama and physical
The teacher? Other students?          education or athletics?
                                            Are there opportunities for
12. Follow your intuition             students who are advanced in
       You know your child better     certain subjects to move ahead,
than anyone else. If you have         and are students who are strug-
done your homework, you’ll know       gling provided with special
if it’s the right school for your     tutoring or individualized help?
child. Sometimes it’s not neces-            If the school is a high school,
sarily a specific program or aca-     are there AP and honors classes
demic feature that lets parents       available?
know it’s a good match. It’s that           Are there many opportu-
intangible feeling—that viscer-       nities for cooperative learning?
al reaction. They know this is a      Inquiry-based learning? Projects?
place where their child can grow            How is discipline for improp-
and academically succeed.             er behavior carried out? What is
                                      the code of conduct? What about
                                      online conduct?
                                            What qualifications do the
                                      teachers have?
                                            Who makes decisions about
                                      the school?
                                            What level of parental
                                      participation is allowed? What
                                      is the expected level of parental

                                                                                         Art like nothing else.


                                                                 W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M                                JANUARY 2021   19
a dad’s view

                               lucy and ethel
                              in middle school
         his year, I’ve been for-                                                                                          about plotting points on a graph
         tunate enough to stay                                                                                             in math class. Now try doing it
         at home while my child                                                                                            with text boxes and a cursor.
         experiences virtual                                                                                               Students end up spending much
learning at Edison Middle School.                                                                                          of their time learning systems, so
As a former teacher, I am fasci-                                                                                           the same number of math exercis-
nated by the process, and deeply                                                                                           es takes much longer online.
grateful for his wonderful teach-                                                                                                 Less is more. The real goal
ers and the work they are doing.                                                                                           of education is to open minds
But I am also concerned about                                                                                              up to new ways of thinking and
the pressure the virtual approach                                                                                          expressing. But modern data-
puts on the children. I see my                                                                                             based education systems tend to
son working through weekends                                                                                               value task compliance. Since we
and breaks and still not keeping                                                                                           can measure how many tasks a
up – and I know he is not the only                                                                                         student checks off, we see that
one. Being a teacher has never                                                                                             as a measure of progress. But
been harder. They have to do                                                                                               I would challenge educators to
everything they ever did, but in                                                                                           slow down and allow students
many cases they now do it online,                                                                                          more time to think. It’s often the
while learning a dizzying array of                                                                                         empty spaces between assign-
new systems. So I’ve tried to use                                                                                          ments that produce the best
my two viewpoints – teacher and        all alike; each unsuccessful                heavy work simultaneously, the          learning. They don’t have much
parent – to express my assess-         student is unsuccessful in their            kids would be overwhelmed. But          empty space right now.
ment of the picture. If I was still    own way. Some of these ways                 if I relented unilaterally, the space          Readers, don’t be too hard
teaching, this is what I would use     could include: lacking adequate             I created might just be taken up        on teachers right now. They
to shape my approach.                  technology or wi-fi access; living          by another teacher’s workload.          really need a break. And parents,
         Lucy and Ethel at the         in a noisy house; the absence               It’s hard as a teacher to see the       don’t be too hard on yourselves.
Chocolate Factory. In a famous         of strong parental support; a               workload from the student’s             I know it can feel like your fam-
episode of I Love Lucy, Lucy and       disorganized approach to learn-             viewpoint, because we have only         ily is the only one struggling
Ethel get a job wrapping choco-        ing; a tendency towards per-                our own perspective. It helps           with this. But until we deal with
lates on an assembly line – but        fectionism, which keeps them                when teachers meet by grade             COVID-19 as a society, we’re
the line moves too fast, with          from completing assignments;                levels to compare notes, but we         going to have to learn how to
hilarious results. It’s less amusing   an unwillingness to ask for help            don’t always give teachers the          adjust to it. If that means figuring
in a school setting. Children in       when confused, and so on. In an             time and the flexibility to do that.    out how to do virtual education
middle school can receive dozens       ordinary classroom, a teacher has           We should.                              well, then so be it. I have faith
of assignments each week. Many         the chance to observe students                     Everything takes longer          in the excellent teachers in our
of them are small assignments          and help them overcome these                than you think online. The virtual      public schools. They’ll find a way
and exit tickets. Some of them are     obstacles. This is much harder in           setting presents an array of new        to make it work, as they have
very big and take hours. The pace      a virtual setting.                          challenges. Art projects have to be     always done. In the meantime,
of the work is unrelenting. So if            The homework arms race.               photographed and emailed before         let’s all be patient.
a student falls behind on one, it      As a former teacher in a compet-            they can be uploaded. Math
becomes very difficult to make it      itive school, I know that teachers          assignments might involve more               John Waldron is an Oklaho-
up because a new wave is always        often competed for the attention            than one platform. Edmentum,            ma State Representative, former
coming in.                             of their students. I wanted my              Canvas and other systems all have       teacher and a dad.
      The Anna Karenina Prin-          classes to be rigorous – but so did         their own quirks, and learning
ciple. Successful students are         my colleagues. If we all assigned           these systems takes time. Think

20      JANUARY 2021                                             W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
What’s Going On(line)?
CONTESTS AND                                                                       WEBSITE                UPDATE
GIVEAWAYS                                                                          TulsaKids.com has a new menu item! Now, you can find stay-home
                                                                                   activities at tulsakids.com/fun-for-kids. We’ve got crafts, games, inter-
WIN CAR PAYMENTS FOR A YEAR!                                                       esting facts and more!
From January 11-February 8, enter to win Car Payments for a Year
($6,600 value)! The entry link will be available at tulsakids.com/contests.

SCHOOL                 FAIR
We will be highlighting local schools and extracurricular options in our
first virtual school fair on January 13! Learn more by RSVP-ing to our
Facebook event page at facebook.com/tulsakidsmagazine.


RSVP to our event
page at facebook.

                                                                  W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M                                     JANUARY 2021         21

           magic trick: art, reality,
           and books to treasure
                      MEET ZACHARIAH OHORA ON JANUARY 22
                            FOR “BOOKS TO TREASURE”

          omething magical hap-                                                                                           the final public presentation by
          pens when you page                                                                                              Zachariah OHora.
          through a picture book.                                                                                              2. See Zachariah OHora on
          Sure, the visual images                                                                                         January 22! Zachariah OHora
make a story come to life – that’s                                                                                        will “visit” Tulsa virtually for a
pretty magical. And, yes, sharing                                                                                         live presentation on the library’s
picture books with your child                                                                                             YouTube channel. Check out
can create beautiful moments of                                                                                           www.youtube.com/tulsalibrary
joy and wonder, a magic trick                                                                                             on Friday, January 22 at 7 p.m.
you will want to share again                                                                                              to see Zachariah talk about his
and again.                                                                                                                inspirations and share his art-
      No, the actual inexplicable,                                                                                        work – both recent and his child-
mind-bending magic recently                                                                                               hood creations!
revealed by cognitive science is                                                                                               3. All second graders in
that what your eyes see, your                                                                                             Tulsa and Tulsa County can get
brain believes is reality.                                                                                                a special library card online. If
      The elephant on the picture                                                                                         you have a second grader, you
book page lifting its massive                                                                                             can apply for a special Books
trunk? Your elemental brain                                                                                               To Treasure library card online
totally thinks the elephant is                                                                                            at www.tulsalibrary.org/kids/
flesh and blood in front of you.                                                                                          books-to-treasure and it will be
      Same with illustrations of                                    ZACHARIAH OHORA                                       mailed to you. You can also go
a desert landscape, laughing            program, the scientific connec-             card with artwork from that           to any of the 24 library locations
babies, or a redheaded girl yell-       tions between reality and art               illustrator.                          to apply for a Books To Trea-
ing at a huge bear in a green           in the brain wasn’t the driving                   For 2020, Zachariah OHora       sure library card for your second
shirt. Your eyes see and your           force. But the idea that “art is            is our illustrious illustrator, his   grader.
brain registers: desert, babies,        magic” definitely was!                      delightful moral tale “Horrible            4. Books! Books! Books!
girl and bear. Sophisticated brain            Because one other magical             Bear!” is what every second           Copies of “Horrible Bear!” are
scans and scientific studies            thing happens when children are             grader will receive, and the          being delivered to schools this
prove this odd evolutionary trick:      surrounded by books with beau-              library card shows the final          month to distribute to second
The same regions of the brain           tiful illustrations and supporting          scene of reconciliation between       graders, but if your child is in
that light up when you see an           text -- they become better and              redheaded girl and bear.              homeschool, virtual school, or
actual object in real life also light   more fluent readers.                              Five Things To Know             somehow missed the school
up in exactly the same way as                 Every year, as part of Books          About Books To Treasure               delivery, parents can also pick
when you see an artistic repre-         To Treasure, an outstanding                 This Year                             up books at any of our 24 library
sentation of that object.               children’s book illustrator is                    1. The program says 2020,       locations.
      In other words, art is magic!     invited to speak in Tulsa, a free           but everything won’t take place            5. You can find a ton of
      When the Tulsa City-Coun-         copy of his or her book is given            until 2021. Because of the pan-       extra resources for learning!
ty Library partnered with the           to every second grader in Tulsa             demic, the library has had to         Teachers and parents who have
Anne and Henry Zarrow Foun-             and Tulsa County, and all second            delay a few things related to         become homeschool teachers
dation nearly 20 years ago to           graders are given the opportu-              Books To Treasure, including
develop the Books To Treasure           nity to apply for a special library         book delivery to schools and                         continued next page

22      JANUARY 2021                                              W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
at www.tulsalibrary.org/kids/
                                   books-to-treasure. You’ll also
                                   find lesson plans for each of our
                                   past Books To Treasure honored
                                   illustrators going back to 2003!

                                   BOOKS TO TREASURE 2020
                                   Featuring Zachariah OHora
                                   All second-graders in Tulsa
                                   County will receive a copy of
                                   Horrible Bear! (illustrated by
                                   Zachariah OHora, written by
                                   Ame Dyckman) and will have
                                   the opportunity to get their
                                   own special library card featur-
                                   ing artwork from Horrible Bear!
                                   Public Presentation:
                                   Friday, January 22
                                   7 p.m.
                                   Live on YouTube:
may be interested in the many      youtube.com/tulsalibrary
wonderful lesson plans related     Find out more here: www.tulsal-
to Zachariah Hora’s books          ibrary.org/kids/books-to-treasure

          COLOR WITH
            During the month of January, enjoy free, family-friendly
            activities all about color, including a take-home craft kit!
            Find more information at gilcrease.org/january.

                                                            W W W.T U L S A K I D S . C O M   JANUARY 2021   23
                              Miller Swim School I Sarah Miller                                                        On the Cusp Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics I Dr. Ryan Roberts, DDS

 Q. I really want my little one to be comfortable in the water this                                               Q: When should I look into braces for my child?
 spring and summer, but I’m not sure what to do for babies his age?                                               A: Orthodontics is a major role in your child’s mouth! Orthodontics
 A. Babies as early as 4 months old can willingly accept water acclima-                                           deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of wrongly posi-
 tion, sometimes even more so than their preschool-aged counterparts!                                             tioned teeth and jaws as well as misaligned bite patterns. We have an
 While babies as young as 4 months old can begin swim lessons, there                                              orthodontist at our office and he, along with the American Academy
 ARE some activities you can do at home to help familiarize them with                                             of Orthodontics, say children should have an orthodontic assessment
 the water beforehand!                                                                                            around the age seven! Now that doesn’t mean your child will need
 Start by introducing simple toys to your child in the bath. Show them                                            braces at seven-years-old, but it is important to get an assessment to
 how to use the toys, and sing songs as you play. This creates a positive association with the                    make sure all teeth are coming in correctly, to see if there is crowding,
 water from the get-go!                                                                                           or if your child needs a tooth or two extracted to perfect their smile. Most pediatric
 Next, help them prepare for submersions. Start slowly, by introducing a light trickle of water on                dentists practice interceptive orthodontics, which means diagnosing and treating
 their head. Then, gradually increase the amount of water until you can wet their entire head.                    malocclusions (the abnormal alignment of the upper and lower teeth) as soon as they
                                                                                                                  are detected! Usually a candidate for braces will be around the ages 11-13 years old, when
 Finally, make a point to keep bath time fun. Be silly, make up games and keep your infant                        a child has their permanent teeth! At my office we offer free orthodontic consultations if
 laughing. Remember, the earlier you can make your little one feel at ease in the water, the
 easier it’ll be to get them swimming and enjoying water throughout                                               you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to call!
 their childhood.                                                                                                 South: 8222 E. 103rd St.
 6415 S. Mingo Rd., Tulsa • 525 W. 91st St. S., Jenks 918.254.1988                                                Midtown: 4444 S. Harvard Ave.
 millerswimschool.com                                                                                             918.921.8822 • OntheCuspdds.com

               HTR Pediatric Therapy I Christina Saveth, M.S. CCC-SLP.                                                           Dyslexia Center of Tulsa I Dr. Penny Stack, Founder & Owner

Q: My child has sensory issues. How do I get them to wear a mask all                                               Q: I’ve noticed that my son sometimes writes letters backwards
day at school?                                                                                                     even though he knows them. Could this be dyslexia?
A: This question is on a lot of parents’ minds. The first thing I recommend is to                                  A: Letter reversals are commonly thought of as a sign of dyslexia.
buy the right size. Make sure it’s for pediatric wearers. Second, it’s important to                                However, not everyone who has dyslexia will have difficulties with
include your child in the selection of their masks. Take into consideration cur-                                   reversing letters or numbers, and vice versa. Dyslexia is a language
rent sensory needs. For example, don’t buy a scratchy paper mask if you know                                       processing disorder. Letter reversals are typically due to spatial aware-
your child has issues with clothing tags.                                                                          ness (knowing how to put parts together to create an image) or ocular
I strongly advocate using a visual social story. Many children have issues with                                    motor dysfunction (eye muscles working together to steady an object
transitions, so a visual story that you read with them lessens their anxiety and creates space to discuss          for visual interpretation). Both of these are separate from and not
their feelings or fears. Social stories should also present the expectations you and the school will have          associated with the language processing centers of the brain. Left untreated, frequent
about keeping the mask on and asking for help if it causes discomfort. Find printable social stories at            letter or number reversals can make reading, writing, spelling, and math challenging and
www.theOTtoolbox.com.                                                                                              frustrating. An evaluation with an occupational therapist can help identify why he is
Discuss why, how and when they need to wear a mask. Talk about how the mask feels when they                        writing letters backwards and with developing a treatment plan.
put it on and which mask feels the best. Lastly, let them wear the mask for small increments of time;              Dr. Penny Stack, OTD, OTR/L, CLT,
set a timer if needed. At home, they can get used to wearing the mask, and you can                                 8988 S. Sheridan Rd #D1, Tulsa OK 74133
find out what bothers them about it. If you have any questions, we are here for you at                             918.313.5518
HTRPediatrics!                                                                                                     www.dyslexiatulsa.com
HTR Pediatric Therapy • 6715 E. 41st St., Tulsa • 918.806.0106 • htrpediatrics.com

                       World Travel Service I Alex Eaton, President                                                                  Premier Pediatrics of Bixby I Dr. Morgan, MD, FAAP

Q: What are the primary advantages of using a travel advisor                                                      Q: Is it too late for my child to get the influenza vaccine?
over online travel “discounters” like Travelocity or Expedia, or
simply planning a trip yourself?                                                                                  A: Vaccination is recommended to be done by the end of October each
A: Some of the more obvious reasons for using one of our experienced                                              influenza season. However, you are still able to get your child vaccinat-
travel advisors are time and cost savings as well as greater access to                                            ed! Most local clinics and health departments have influenza vaccines
special rates and upgrades. However, the overarching advantage is that                                            readily available as the influenza season is expected to last through
travel advisors have a vested interest in you personally and work with                                            April or May each year. Children are eligible to receive the influenza
you to customize your trip. The rigidity of booking through Travelocity,                                          vaccine once they turn 6 months old. Children under the age of 9 years
Expedia or figuring things out on your own too often results in minimal to no assistance                          may need a booster immunization 4 weeks later depending on their vaccine history.
with changes and does not offer much wiggle room for “mistakes.” Once you hit “send,”
it’s on you to navigate and figure things out in an ever more complicated booking                                 Illnesses this year, with our current pandemic, are stressful for families. Make sure to do
environment. The prevailing good news is that travel advisors have deep relationships                             all you can to protect your children.
with suppliers, thus allowing for adjustments and providing peace of mind and security
in this new age of travel.                                                                                        Premier Pediatrics of Bixby
918.743.8856 • World Travel Service,                                                                              7814 E. 121st St. Bixby
7645 E. 63rd Street, Tulsa, OK 74133                                                                              918.943.5777
www.WorldTravelToday.com                                                                                          premier-pediatrics.com

24        JANUARY 2021                                                                        W W W .T U L S A K I D S . C O M
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