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April-May 2021

Features

Wheels Turning in Richmond!

If you ask Rafeeq Akbar of the Urban Cycling Group (UCG) why he got into cycling, he’ll tell you the pandemic was a big factor. He is a board member of the Richmond-based cycling club, which was founded in May 2020. “Kyron Copeland and Derrick Rippy started with a ride…

Science with a Virtual Twist!

Ankita Adhvaryu, a senior at Mills Godwin High School in Henrico, has cultivated a passion for science by spending time experiencing the beauty of nature. This instilled in her a respect for the natural world and helped her develop a new perspective on caring for the environment as a young…

Pick-Your-Own Farm Guide for Families

Spring for my family means at least one trip to a farm for pick-your-own fruit. We’ve been going for fresh-picked sweet berries since my two teens were toddlers. It’s been a family tradition for years to make the trek to Surry for strawberries in May and blueberries in June. But…

Columns

First Time Caller

I’ll start running,” my son announced during dinner. “Really… why?” “Three miles, three days a week – for a phone.”  A few hours before this declaration, I shared the story of a student who recently ran five miles a day for three months. At the finish line to celebrate this…

Mother Earth and Her Day

In the seventies, my friends and I played near a trickle of a creek in a ravine everyone called “Bloody Bones.” The water was copper-colored from what we always assumed was factory runoff. It might have been toxic, but I’m not sure. My dad worked as a numbers cruncher for…

Spring Greetings!

Pollen aside, there is so much to love about spring, and after our collective dreary winter, we finally have perfect temps and longer days to get outside and enjoy all that RVA has to offer (and that’s a lot!). We enjoyed reading your thoughts about spring in last month’s Reader…

Rebranding the Twos

Parenting a two-year-old is not for the faint of heart. Two-year-olds are fiercely independent one moment and incredibly needy the next. The highs are higher and the lows are lower.  Despite this, I find myself almost looking forward to my youngest child’s two-year-old year. Her joy and excitement will be…

“When No One is Watching” by Alyssa Cole

A thriller that should be destined for the big screen. When I first heard When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole mentioned in the same sentence as the 2017 movie Get Out, I added the book to my list.        Cole has crafted a psychological and sociological thriller…

Departments

Keep Your Kids Safe in Cars

The pandemic changed everything in 2020. Schools were closed, children’s activities were cancelled, and cars sat idle as families stayed home to stay safe. One important safety measure may have been overlooked during that time period: Many children may have outgrown their safety seats without anyone realizing it.  Car seats…

Saving for Your College-bound Kids

Few financial topics have the power to strike fear in a family’s heart like a discussion about saving for college. Tuition costs are rising faster than incomes, the value of the degree itself has been called into question, and student loans weigh on professionals well into their forties. Yet, many…

Bright and Breezy Craft for Spring

What you need: • Tree branch • Fishing line • Scissors • Beads What you do: 1. If necessary, wipe the branch gently with a damp cloth to remove excess dirt. Place your branch on a flat work surface. 2. Starting with the middle and longest drop, cut one length…

Pandemics and Wedding Planning

When it comes to planning a wedding, there are lots of moving parts. Add a pandemic to the mix, and it can be overwhelming. These days, even attending a wedding can be complicated for some of us. Many couples have proven that with a little ingenuity, flexibility, and a few…

Summer Jobs and Dismantling Racism in Your Family

My 14-year-old son has been wanting to work a real job since he was in elementary school. He could apply for a special work permit and find a job this summer, but I think he should wait until next year. How do you feel about young teens working in retail…

Greater Richmond Fit4Kids

When Jasmine Barber stepped into the role of parent advocate with Fit4Kids, she knew firsthand how excited and inspired kids were by the organization’s work. She had seen her own children get moving during a wellness class or try a new vegetable after a learning garden lesson with Fit4Kids. Her…

Air Quality and Community Science

Community science is the best kind of science. Why? Because you don’t have to be a scientist to get involved, all ages can participate, and the information you collect helps the entire community. Community science (closely related to citizen science) is a collaboration between scientists and public volunteers to gather…

Allergies, Cold, or COVID-19?

Allergy season is upon us, and so is the transition time from the typical cold and flu season. Unfortunately, COVID-19 remains a public health crisis that we continue to battle more than a year after its original onset here in the United States. There are many overlapping symptoms from these…

Perfect Family Pizza Night

Looking for a great way to bring the family together? Declare a pizza night! Pick a night when you will have some extra time. Next, find age-appropriate tasks – from helping with the dough to cutting the toppings to doing the dishes. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t making…

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