- Friday, Saturday & Sunday: The Adventures of Pinocchio
Arkansas Festival Ballet presents this storybook ballet at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 pm., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15-$25. For more information, call Arkansas Festival Ballet at (501) 227-5320. Purchase tickets here.
- Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 29th Annual International Greek Food Festival
The International Greek Food Festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church is the largest ethnic festival in Arkansas, with lots of food, entertainment and kids’ activities. Event is free but food must be purchased. For more information, call (501) 221-5300.
- Saturday: Screening of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” & Meet-and-Greet at Little Rock Zoo
Join the Little Rock Film Festival for a screening of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” at the Arkansas Repertory Theater at 10 a.m. Stars of the film Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron, and producer Brad Simpson will host Q & A after the film. Individual tickets are $10. Purchase them here. At 2 p.m., head to the Little Rock Zoo for a meet-and-greet with the stars. Regular zoo admission applies for non-film fest pass holders. For details about these events, click here.
- Saturday: Archery on The Lawn
Held every third Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, participants can test their archery skills by shooting compound bows at square targets. No experience necessary, but participants must be at least 10 years old to pull the string back. For more information, call (501) 907-0636.
- Saturday: KidSource Therapy 5K
KidSource Therapy is hosting its first-ever 5K fun run/walk at 8 a.m. to raise money for playground equipment for kids with special needs. This event is family and pet friendly. There will even be a pet costume contest. The event is being held at Hurricane Lake Estates (6015 Worth Ave., Benton). Call (501) 304-3369.
- Sunday: Little Rock Film Festival Family Fun Day
This free event features family film screenings, zoo animals, games and activities. Event is at 2 p.m. at the Darragh Center at the Main Library downtown. Details here.
SATURDAY: 40th Annual Territorial Fair at the Historic Arkansas Museum, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Free. The event features pioneer music, Maypole dancing, crafts for kids, stilt-walking, hoop-rolling, sack-racing, brick-making and more frontier fun (including whitewashing a fence!).
SATURDAY: Lil’ Wild Ones: Nature Stories and Activities at the WSJCANC. Held the second Saturday of each month during the school year at 2 p.m., the event explores wildlife and habitats of Arkansas through nature stories and hands-on activities. Recommended for ages 4-8. Free. Registration is not required. For more information, call (501) 907-0636.
SATURDAY: Helping Hand’s Walk, Run and Wheel for Special Needs 5K/2K. Click here for details.
SATURDAY: International Migratory Bird Day at Holland Bottoms WMA in Jacksonville. Join Audubon Arkansas for family-friendly activities to learn more about birds in the area. Event includes morning bird walk with the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas at 7 a.m., a family bird walk with Dr. Dan “the Bird Man” at 11 a.m., and children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free lunch at noon. For more information, contact Uta Meyer at (501) 244-2229, email@example.com.
SATURDAY: Magic Springs Water Park in Hot Springs opens at 11 a.m. It will be open on weekends until May 19 and seven days a week beginning May 25. The theme park opened last month. There are several ticket options available, including season passes starting at $74.99. Click here for more information.
SUNDAY: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Guild’s Mother’s Day tea party, Teapots & Toasts, as part of the Symphony Designer House XXII. Click here for details.
SUNDAY: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Cirque de la Symphonie at Robinson Center Music Hall, 3 p.m. Children (K-12th grade) can attend free with a paying adult. Individual tickets start at just $14. Click here for details.
Helping Hand’s first ever “Walk, Run or Wheel” for Special Needs 5K and 2K is this Saturday, May 11.
The 5K begins at 8:30 a.m. for runners and walkers. The 2K starts at 9:30 a.m. and is much more casual to allow families with kids and those with disabilities to walk, run or wheel. Both start and finish at the Helping Hand Learning Center in North Shore Business Park (4901 North Shore Drive in North Little Rock). Race Day Parking is at the Garver Building; follow the path to registration at Helping Hand.
There’s still time to register! Come to packet pick-up at Easy Runner in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center on Friday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Or, get to the race an hour early.
Helping Hand is a nonprofit developmental preschool that also provides occupational, physical and speech therapy to children up to 21 years of age. Proceeds from this event will go toward building phase one of an entirely wheelchair accessible playground.
For more information or to register, click here or call (501) 791-3331.
Around 90 kids and teens took to the track at McClellan Magnet High School on Friday, Feb. 22, to complete their final mile of the Little Rock Parks and Recreation’s Therapeutic Recreation “Little Rockers” walking program.
In its fifth year, the program, which is part of the Little Rock Marathon, is for students in grades K-12 with disabilities. Schools sign up for the program in early November and kids start accumulating walking miles, said Sherrie Shinn, therapeutic recreation coordinator at Little Rock Parks and Recreation.
The goal is that all students complete 25.2 miles of the marathon individually or with their schools, and everyone walks the last marathon-mile together, she said. Those who completed the last mile received medals and T-shirts. Shinn said she’s heard that students are so proud of completing the marathon that they wear their medals to school for weeks afterwards.
“It’s a huge, prideful thing for them,” Shinn said. “They hear about the Little Rock Marathon, and being part of this community event is something to be proud of.”
Though the final-mile “race” was noncompetitive and untimed, someone has to cross the finish line first. And, that first-place finisher was 9-year-old Couryion McFadden, 9, a student at the Arkansas School for the Deaf, which took part in the event for the first time this year.
With a big smile, McFadden said it was a good race and he was very happy to have finished first. A few of his teammates, 10-year-old David Parker and 11-year-old Andrew Canu, were also excited and proud to have completed the marathon. The ASD team was led by Coach Jon Parker.
Brianna Jordan, 14, a student at Benton Junior High, also took part in the program for the first time this year. She said she enjoyed training for several months at school and she was happy to have completed all 26.2 miles.
“I’m really excited. It made me feel really good,” she said.
Mom Barbara Saunders said she was proud of her 8-year-old son, Will, a student at Crestwood Elementary in North Little Rock, for taking part in the program, and finishing the last mile despite the cold weather.
“He loves being active,” she said, explaining that healthy lifestyles are important in her family.
Shinn said her office reaches out to local schools to get them involved in the walking program, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive because teachers are interested in finding ways to get kids active. This year, students came from schools and homeschools all over central Arkansas.
“We want to make exercise fun, and this is a great way to do that,” Shinn said, adding that organizers of the Little Rock Marathon have been supportive at every step.
Parents of children with learning and developmental disabilities who are age 13 or older are invited to a free public education event hosted by ACCESS February 5th beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Turning Point: Life After High School will feature representatives from area government agencies, community service providers and education service providers who will educate parents on a variety of topics including:
- Transition services
- Vocational programming and job placement
- Considering individuals’ strengths and weaknesses for housing, employment and training programs
- supported living options
- The Medicaid waiver and adult services
- GED testing requirements and accommodations
- Regional post-secondary educational programs for students with learning and/or developmental disabilities.
The event takes place from 6 until 8 p.m. at ACCESS on 10618 Breckenridge Dr., Little Rock. For more information call Megan Jackson, ACCESS receptionist at (501) 217-8600.
ACCESS, Autism Speaks Arkansas and Riley’s Warriors are hosting an event for area parents entitled, ”Special Education and Individualized Education Plans: Hear from Other Local Parents, Get Resource Information.” This community-wide event will be held at the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ Family Life Center, Southeast Entrance, 10900 Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock Saturday, Jan. 19, 8:30-11:15 a.m.
This free seminar will include information about special education services, including individualized education plans. Several special needs providers will also be on hand to answer questions. Registration and resource tables will open up at 8:30 a.m., followed by a parent panel at 9 a.m., and a presentation at 10:15 a.m. by Rebecca Walker, a special education teacher with the Conway School District with more than 10 years of teaching experience.
Walker’s talk, “Special Education Services in Public Schools,” will differentiate between a 504 plan and an Individualized Education Plan. The referral process, response to intervention, goals and objectives, modifications and more will be discussed.
Over the years working as Editor of Savvy Kids, I have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful parents and children living in the central Arkansas community. In this special issue of Savvy Kids I would like to introduce you to Lindsey Stone and her daughter Skylar. Lindsey and Skylar have been fans of Savvy Kids for some time now, and if you’ve paid attention, you’ve seen Skylar’s photograph printed from various community events. Continue reading
Community Connections helps children with and without disabilities
Julianne Merguie volunteers with the ACTS Jr. program as part of Community Connections, where she helps children with and without disabilities interact and feel more comfortable while learning about the performing arts. Continue reading
Volunteering with Friendship Community Care
Fourteen-year-old Payton Wornick is like many kids his age. He enjoys playing video games, hunting and spending time with his family and friends. But when he has free time, he spends it helping out Friendship Community Care. Continue reading
Many of us take things for granted every day, like being able to hear. Friends, Abby McClellan, 12, and Alex Gossett, 13, understand. Both Abby and Alex were diagnosed at an early age with mild/moderate hearing loss which progressed to deaf. Continue reading