For MOM magazine
For thousands of Albany school children and their parents each
year, quality time includes five Saturday mornings of live
entertainment at Linn-Benton Community College. The Children's
Performing Arts Series, presented by Albany Parks & Recreation
Department, opens its 26th season on January 21.
CPAS has reached an average of 5,000 children each year for the
last four years. Performers - musicians, puppeteers, theater
troupes, animals, magicians, acrobats - take their acts to two
Albany elementary schools on a Friday, then perform for the public
in the Forum at LBCC on Saturday. Seventeen local sponsors this
year help ensure that the performances remain free of charge,
though donations are always welcome.
Janel Bennett started attending when her oldest daughter was
three; she now brings two daughters, ages 5 and 8.
"I feel it is important for them to be exposed to performing
arts," Bennett said.
Shane and Paige Wooton have been attending CPAS programs
since their kids were little; they're now 9, 11 and 13. "We believe
a child is better off if they have a diverse appreciation of the
arts," Shane Wooton said. "It is great family entertainment and the
price is right."
Bennett said she asks other moms and their kids to attend the
performances with her and her daughters; husband Matt works during
the day, though he's made time to see a couple performances by the
Chinese Acrobats, a crowd favorite and a highlight for the Wootons
Jane Long also likes the acrobats. She and her husband have been
attending CPAS with their grandchildren for four years. She
believes children may gain an awareness of different cultures
through the series. "Children learn through exposure," Long
"It's great for kids if they see something that might be a
little bit scary for them in a performance," Bennett said. "They
observe how the situation is handled by the characters and find
ways to solve their problems and overcome their fears. They learn
about decisions that have consequences and how they can make other
people feel. They learn about conflict resolution from what they
Bennett and her girls have lunch after the Saturday
morning shows and talk about what they have seen. "I love listening
to them talk about how something made them feel or their favorite
part of the show," she said.
Bennett especially enjoys performances by Tears of Joy Theater,
frequently a part of the series. Their performance of "Stellaluna"
has been her best series experience so far, she said.
"After we saw 'Stellaluna,' the girls wanted to read the book
and then talk about how the book was different from the play," she
said. "After we watched 'Rumpelstiltskin,' we talked about the
choices the characters made and how they would have made different
choices. It is great for dialog with your kids about good and bad
decisions and how they affect others."
"Kids love action and drama," Long said. "I enjoy the
performers who include the audience."
Wooton said he takes his whole family to CPAS shows. "Most of
the acts are great for all ages. We generally enjoy the programs
just as much as the kids," he said.
Bennett sees broad benefit to the community from the annual
"It gives children from lower-income families the chance
to have a seat in a performance that they may not have had the
opportunity to see without the generosity of donors," Bennett said.
"Our schools are struggling as well and are no longer offering art
and music. This may be the only chance some of these kids get to
see a play or hear live music.
"I don't know of a lot of other towns that have children's
performances of this quality and since it is free, anyone can
attend. You even get crayons and a coloring page as an added
For more information about the Children's Performing Arts
Series, call 541-917-7777 or visit http://www.cityofalbany.net/parks/cpas/
2012 Children's Performing Arts Series
All performances at 10 a.m. in the Forum at LBCC, 6500
Pacific Boulevard SW, Albany.
My kids are busy baking and decorating Christmas cookies
together. This is the first time that they've done it and I'm so
proud of them. They are 12 and 9 years. Together we'll make goody
plates for friends and family. Tonight we'll deliver them and visit
some wonderful people.
Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Click here for some great Holiday Cookie and Homemade Candy
We just drew (using random.org) and the winner of the 60 minute
massage is....Jamie! Congratulations, Jamie! Enjoy your time of
relaxation and please let us know how it is.
Come as you are to enjoy this event for all ages!
We have a winner for the Great Toy Giveaway! Congratulations
Sarah! You've won the $25 Toy Factory gift certificate!
We are so excited to see Cavalia in Portland tonight. They have
extended the show through December and created a family package,
making it more affordable. Don't miss this opportunity. Check out
the website for amazing video footage of the horses. And click
below to learn more about the show and the family value package
I was on the black hole of time called pinterist and
found this amazing recipe for fun holiday pretzel treats. Adorable
and delicious - with three simple ingredients. Kisses, round
pretzels and m&m's. I'm so excited to try it with the kids.
She calls them pretzel snacks. Her
friends call them Reindeer Noses. Check out the step-by-step
instructions and photos at the House on the Hilltop blog.
I love learning new ideas and recipes
that are not only delicious, but fun to do with the kids. Just when
you think you know everything, someone surprises you! Please share
some of your favorite treats with us too. Add your items with a
link in the comments section below and we'll be sure to share them
with our readers.
Nothing gets you into the holiday spirit like putting up
Christmas lights....it's not always that easy, though. When I was
growing up my parents (for one reason or another) never put up
lights on our house. I was determined to have a fully decked house
now that I have kids, but disappointed when my husband refused to
get on a ladder up to our steep roof to get them up on the
second floor. This year, Shonnard's
totally saved the day! From start to finish, the process of having
Shonnard's take care of our Christmas Lighting has been a joy. Joel
came out and took pictures of the house, then did computer-aided
design of what the lighting would look like.
Then his crew came out and had everything up within an hour.
It looks fantastic! It's such a unique and classy design - we
love it! Thank you Joel and the Shonnard's team!
The best part is that they take the lights down, store them and
will put them up for you again next year!
If you've seen Samaritan Health Service's 'Head to toe' in our
Dec/Jan issue, you know we are serious about MOM taking care or
MOM! To encourage that, Heartspring Wellness Center is givng away a
60 minute massage.
To enter, comment here and answer the following: Do you treat
yourself to massage? When is the last time (if ever) you've had a
We'll randomly pick a winner on December 21st.
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