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Backyard Naturalists After School Program

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The Highlands Biological Foundation has received a $25,000 grant from the Eckerd Family Foundation to create “Backyard Naturalists,” an after-school program designed to inspire a lifelong appreciation of the natural world through science, art and technology.  The program is created in partnership with Meet Your Neighbours, an international photographic initiative designed to reveal the wildlife living amongst us in an extraordinary way, and will draw upon the educational resources of the Highlands Nature Center.   The Pilot program will begin on March 19, 2012 in Highlands, NC.

Backyard Naturalists participants will learn the essentials of how to be an amateur naturalist. The program will include eight weeks of lessons, one afternoon per week, structured to promote a better appreciation and understanding of the natural world by nurturing creativity and independent observation skills.  Study topics will include learning about plants and animals, community interactions between species, nature journaling, illustration and a nature photography workshop. Using this knowledge, the students will work together to develop a wiki, a website that is collaboratively developed by a community of users, which allows them to freely add content, edit and become active participants of the website rather than just visitors. After the initial pilot program is launched in Highlands, NC we will incorporate images produced by other Meet Your Neighbours photographers around the world into the wiki and encourage the development of similar Backyard Naturalists programs in their own communities. In this way technology becomes a tool and an asset used to put students in touch with the natural world around them in ways that only beautiful close-up photography can provide. It is our hope that Backyard Naturalists will have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of our participants and encourage them to get outside and explore the natural world that is as close as their own backyards.

For over 84 years the mission of the Highlands Biological Station and Foundation has been to foster education and research based on the rich natural heritage of the Highlands Plateau.  To become a part of the Highlands Biological Foundation and assist in this mission visit Highlandsbiological.org   To learn more about Backyard Naturalists or to sign up please visit www.backyardnaturalists.com or, or call (828) 526-2221.  To learn more about Meet Your Neighbours, visit www.meetyourneighbours.net

Asheville’s Health Adventure, New Location and Great Events for 2012!

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
ASHEVILLE NC – The Health Adventure invites you to come see our expanded exhibit area and beautiful new classroom and theater spaces! It’s also very convenient to unload the students directly at our door, and we have plenty of bus parking.
All programs at The Health Adventure are referenced by Competency Goals from the North Carolina Standard Course of Study as well as the NC Essential Standards. Time at The Health Adventure is Time on Task!
**Remember, teachers are welcome to come check us out for free – just show your school ID.
Dental Month February 2012: Tooth Sleuth, Dental Detective
Spaces are filling up quickly for Dental Month (February 2012). This year’s theme is “Tooth Sleuth, Dental Detective!”  Help our detective solve the case of the “Cavity Caper.” We’ll round up the usual suspects: sugary snacks, failure to floss, spit tobacco, and poor brushing habits!
Schedule your group today!
Call 828.665.2217 x324
Traveling Exhibit: Your Spitting Image, February – April 2012
What does your saliva say about you? Solve this and many other mysteries when you enter the National Museum of Dentistry’s fascinating traveling exhibition, Your Spitting Image!  Step into the role of a forensic investigator to solve mysteries, see what’s in that remarkable fluid called saliva, and find out how scientists are using bioengineering to grow teeth.  This innovative and interactive three-part exhibition highlights the convergence of genetics and dentistry with hands-on experiments and interactive computer activities.
Your Spitting Image offers numerous educational opportunities:
• Learn how to solve mysteries using forensic technology
• Discover the health secrets revealed by saliva
• Explore remarkable advances in oral health made possible by the science of bioengineering
• Find out how good oral health affects the whole body
• Learn how to have a healthy mouth for a lifetime

The North Carolina Arboretum Celebrates Take a Child Outside Week

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The North Carolina Arboretum is participating in a growing nationwide effort geared toward getting young people off the couch, unplugged from technology, and enjoying the outdoors in their local community. Taking place September 24 through 30, Take a Child Outside week is a program that urges all citizens to participate in outdoor activities. The event is designed to help break down obstacles that keep children from discovering the natural world, and to provide parents, teachers and other caregivers with resources and recreational activities for exploring local habitats.

The Arboretum provides a perfect location for families in the community to connect with nature during the week, or any other time of year. Stunning color in 65 acres of cultivated gardens, as well as 10 miles of hiking and biking trails offer children and families a place to embrace and explore their world. To enhance the experience, Discovery Packs are available to check out from the Visitor Information Desks at the Baker Exhibit Center and the Education Center. Each pack includes a notebook, binoculars, insect net, magnifying jar, seasonal activity and kid’s guide to discovering the Arboretum. Packs are free to borrow, but an Arboretum membership card or driver license must be retained while the pack is on loan. Packs must be returned by 4:45 p.m.

Also taking place on Saturday, September 24 is Heritage Crafts Day at The North Carolina Arboretum. Held from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., the event features artists and crafters whose work reflects the heritage of Western North Carolina. In addition to the fine crafts featured, there will be children’s activities from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m.

Started in 2007 as an initiative of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Take a Child Outside week is held in cooperation with partner organizations across the United States and Canada. The goal of the movement is to help children across the country develop a better understanding and appreciation of the environment in which they live, and a burgeoning enthusiasm for its exploration. More information can be found online at www.takeachildoutside.org.

The North Carolina Arboretum believes children want to embrace and explore their world. This exploration shapes their lifelong relationship with their parents and the environment. Stress reduction, greater physical health, a deeper sense of spirit, more creativity, a sense of play, even a safer life, are the benefits for a family when it invites nature into their lives.

Heritage Crafts Day and general admission to the Arboretum is free for Arboretum Society members or with the standard parking fee ($8 per personal vehicle). For information, call (828) 665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org. The central mission of The North Carolina Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, is to cultivate connections between people and plants.

Kid’s Fishing Tournament – Sept. 24

Monday, September 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Kid’s Fishing Tournament at Lake Julian Park will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2011. The event is open to all children ages 15 and under and is sponsored by Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreation Services.

The Kid’s Fishing Tournament begins at 8:30 a.m. and is over promptly at 11:30 a.m. Preregistration for the Tournament is advised or children can register the day of the Tournament starting at 8:00 a.m. at Lake Julian Park. The cost for the Tournament is $5 per child. No fishing license is required for children under 16 years of age.

This is a Catch and Release event. Lake Julian Park will supply a bucket for each competitor’s catch. After the fish has been weighed and measured, it will be released back into the lake. Participants bring their own pole and bait. Any type of pole and bait is permitted.

Fishing is allowed anyplace inside the Lake Julian Park boundaries. No boat fishing is allowed.

All children must be accompanied by at least one adult.

There are prizes galore! Children will be grouped into one of five age categories and prizes will be awarded in each of these categories. Prizes will be given for the biggest fish, the smallest fish and the most fish caught. In addition, all competitors in every age group will have an opportunity to show off their casting skill. Casting poles and targets are provided by Lake Julian Park and children can demonstrate their ability anytime during the Tournament. There are prizes for the winners of the casting competition, too!

For information about this call (828) 684-0376 or email [email protected].

Asheville International Children’s Film Festival November 4-13, 2011

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – November 4-13, 2011 marks the third annual Asheville International Children’s Film Festival. Aicff is the largest children’s film festival in the Southeast.  The festival celebrates the best and brightest in international children’s cinema with a 10-day extravaganza of over 70 films from 25 countries.

This year’s festival has a blend of programs including animation, features, shorts, historical films, and fantastic hands-on, interactive workshops for the filmmakers of tomorrow. The festival provides families with the opportunity to screen one-of-a-kind films not available on DVD. The festival is a great winter time event created especially for families in Western North Carolina and beyond. “I didn’t know these kinds of fun, creative and heartfelt films were created for kids” is the comment most heard  from the attendees.

You won’t want to miss the three very special events, the kick-off gala, costume pancake breakfast, and closing awards ceremony. We know you will have a great family experience and make memories that will live forever!

Team Up! Coming Fall 2011 at the Health Adventure

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – How fast is your fastball? Can a floor surface affect your athletic ability? Do you want to know how to make a perfect bounce pass? Come and get all of your questions answered in the new traveling exhibition, “Team Up! Explore Science & Sports”. Through numerous interactive components such as Bounce Pass and Ricochet Racquet, children and adults alike will marvel at the many scientific principles that make sports a reality in this exciting new traveling exhibition. Visitors will have opportunities to test their own skills in such sports as basketball, football, baseball, tennis, soccer and even extreme sports like snowboarding. At the same time, guests will be amazed and educated at the level of science that is involved in sports. Geometry, physics, force, and friction will be explained to children in a way that is intriguing and relative to sport.

Entry – Guests are greeted by colorful characters and walk under a football goal post as they enter Team Up! Explore Science and Sports. The entry panels are complete with national sponsor signage and a place for each venue to display their local sponsors.

Ricochet Racquet – Adjust the angle of an oversized tennis racquet in an effort to hit the target with tennis balls. Visitors will shoot the tennis balls at the giant racquet, adjusting the angle of the racquet face to get the proper trajectory. Ricochet Racquet is an enclosed component for safety and to eliminate the loss of tennis balls.

Locker Room – Dress like the pros in the Locker Room. This interactive station features equipment and apparel that mirrors the equipment worn by the pros. Not only do guests have the opportunity to “gear-up”, but they can also view professional equipment that is safely displayed behind plexi-glass. Four sports are on display; baseball, football, soccer and hockey.

Balancing Acts A balance beam, a pommel horse, and tabletop balancing experiments offer the visitor the opportunity to explore aspects of balance in this exhibit area. Visitors are given a perspective as to just how difficult it is to be an Olympic caliber gymnast.

Bounce Pass – Make that perfect pass just like your favorite point guard! Visitors are challenged to determine the correct amount of force at the proper angle to create just the right bounce to pass a basketball past a barrier to a “teammate” on the other side.

Set Shot – Set Shot tests the patience of the visitor as it asks them to take on a very difficult task. This component teaches about trajectories by asking the visitor to shoot a marble-size basketball through a tiny hoop. This can only be accomplished if the trajectory of the ball is exact.

Sweet Spot – It’s going, going, gone! Only if you hit the ball on the sweet spot. Baseball bats have one ideal spot to strike a ball, where the maximum amount of energy will transfer to the ball, and the minimum amount of energy will travel back through the bat into the batter’s hands. This exhibit is a hands-on demonstration of this phenomenon. If you strike the ball on the sweet spot, you will feel virtually no vibration. See just how difficult it is to hit a round ball with a round bat.

Inside Scoop – Cross-sections of different balls and other sports equipment reveal the construction methods and materials used in today’s high-tech sports equipment. Research and development of such items as hockey sticks and baseball bats is never-ending, but with the Inside Scoop visitors know the importance of staying on top of your game with modern technology.

Get in the Game – Packed with action and YOU as the talent, Get in the Game will immerse visitors in the world of virtual reality! This virtual reality system allows visitors to watch themselves on a TV monitor as they play volleyball, soccer, or ski downhill.

How Fast Was That Pitch? – Visitors can measure the speed of their throw in this radar-equipped pitching booth. This interactive station allows guests to see just what makes those Major League pitchers so special. You think you got what it takes? Test your ability and then you will know just how fast 90 miles per hour is…

The Sole of the Game – Soles of different types of athletic footwear are displayed here. Visitors are challenged to match the sole of the shoe to the sport for which it is used.

Twin Spin – This exhibit features two mannequins that rotate on metal rods. One portrays a gymnast in a tucked position, the other is outstretched. The visitor is asked to predict and observe how the figures spin differently.

Name That Ball – Here visitors are invited to identify balls used in various sports by touch. Some may be simple, but some will keep you guessing for a long time. You may know a tennis ball or a baseball, but there are some intriguing spheres here that will test your sports I.Q.

Sports Figures – How do they do that? A question often asked when discussing today’s athletes. In this exciting component, visitors are immersed in the television show, “ESPN Sports Figures” and many of their questions are answered. Sports Figures touches on all sports and details the most difficult scientific principles, while relaying the messages in a manner that even elementary age visitors can comprehend.

Team Up! created by Discovery Center, Rockford, IL, and The Family Museum of Arts and Science, Bettendorf, IA

Diana Wortham Theatre Announces 2011/2012 School Shows Series

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Diana Wortham Theatre‘s popular School Shows Series features high quality, curriculum-related performances by professional, nationally touring companies. Diana Wortham Theatre serves over 7,000 students and teachers each year, stretching minds, working imaginations and deepening learning. Due to demand, this season features more performances to serve even more students.

Book Today! Reservations for all school shows are now available. Need-based scholarships offered.

2011/2012 School Shows:

• THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

• SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL

• SHAKESPEARE ON TRIAL

• THE RIVALRY – THE LINCON DOUGLAS DEBATES

• MADELINE AND THE BAD HAT

• BILLY JONAS

• MACBETH

• RENNIE HARRIS PUREMOVEMENT

• DIAVOLO DANCE THEATER

• CHARLOTTE’S WEB

Helpful Information

• Shows begin at 10:00 a.m. (unless otherwise indicated) at the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place and are around an hour long (except Macbeth, which is full-length)

• Groups of 11 or more: $6 per person (except Macbeth which is $10 and Seussical which is $8)

• Groups of 10 or less: $7 per person (except Macbeth which is $11 and Seussical which is $9)

Teachers receive one free ticket per 10 students. All others pay the listed student ticket price. Bus drivers are free.

On the Web

Please visit our Teacher’s Page for reservation forms, detailed show descriptions, age recommendations, theatre etiquette information, study guides, and more!

Y.E.S. (Youth Education Scholarship)

The Diana Wortham Theatre Y.E.S. Fund makes it possible for students in underserved schools to attend Diana Wortham Theatre School Programming. Need-based scholarships to cover the cost of admission are available to students on a free or reduced lunch program.

CONTACT: Rae Geoffrey, Associate Director: [email protected], 828.210.9837

Lake Eden Arts Festival – LEAF – October 20-23, 2011

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – LEAF [Lake Eden Arts Festival] from October 20th-23rd 2011 at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC.
Ticket Info: theLEAF.org • 828/ 68-MUSIC (686-8742)
Advance tickets only. Under 10 FREE! Visit LEAF.org for variety of tickets|prices. Volunteering Available or you can join the LEAF memberSHIP for discounts & more.

LEAF restored my LOVE for festivals!” Luis Guerra, Texas

Thank you for hosting the most amazing festival! We had the BEST time and cannot believe it has taken us 16 years to get there. Every inch of LEAF was filled with positive energy, it was magical!”  Sarah & Russ, NC

THE LEAF TRADITION
LEAF is one of the treasured fall traditions for families and friends across the southeast and beyond the weekend of October 20th-23rd at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain. LEAF appropriately will be falling on the “PEAK LEAF” weekend, and the fall colors complement the stunning beauty of Lake Eden with Mt. Mitchell standing tall in the distance. A weekend at LEAF is the equivalent of going on a year-long multi-cultural music, arts, dance, and outdoor adventures journey, which “recharges our batteries”. A few aspects that make LEAF “one of the best fests in the country” [re: Johnny Irion] is the FAMILY friendly atmosphere, the diverse sampling of arts and music, the setting, and the intimate size. Map out your weekend “travels” at theLEAF.org.

ANNOUNCING THE OCTOBER PERFORMING ARTISTS

The LEAF crew is thrilled about the Fall LEAF line-up! Make sure your FUNKy dancing shoes are tied extra-tight for this fall. Discover the magic of LEAF and these performing artists at our 33rd festival with Sweet Honey In The Rock® • Galactic • Leo Kottke • Wanda Jackson • 7 Walkers [featuring Bill Kreutzmann, Papa Mali, George Porter Jr & Matt Hubbard] • Abigail Washburn • Toubab Krewe • The Infamous Stringdusters • The Infamous Krewe • Bassekou Kouyate [Mali] • Vishten [Prince Edward Island] • The Mighty Diamonds [Jamaica] • Contra with Perpetual e-Motion & Hot Point Stringband • Rising Appalachia • David Wax Museum • ArtOfficial • The Legendary JC’s • Bearfoot  • Songs of Water  •  Peter Mawanga [Malawi] • TURKU, Nomads of the Silk Road & many more announced on our website. LEAF creates a performance lineup that introduces you to lots of new bands, represents many genres and cultures, and contributes to the positive community. Many of the artists will also participate in LEAF in Schools & Streets programs.

THE WORLD of LEAF

The stages keep up dancing, listening, and grooving and are complemented by a host of creative experiences: Unifire Theater • Contra Dancing • Poetry Slams• Puppetry Slam • Music Jams • Parade • Fiddle Contest • Circus Arts • 50+ Healing Arts Workshops & so much more to explore & experience!  LEAF’s music is but one thread that holds together the cloth of a weekend experience that includes art and culture from around the world, and right here, for the entire family.  NEW! Runners bring your shoes for the 4th Annual “Rock the Quarry” 4-Mile Trail Challenge during LEAF Saturday. The path is so beautiful as it goes through woods, along streams, and has one of the most stunning views in WNC when you reach the top peak.

LEAF in Schools & Streets at FESTIVAL & in the COMMUNITY!

perf_sweethoney_linkLEAF is honored to welcome Sweet Honey In The Rock® as the finale’ and a special LEAF in Schools & Streets [LSS] community concert on Monday October 24th. This internationally renowned all-woman, African-American a cappella ensemble is known for their powerful Civil Rights and African American culture work. Each concert is educational and includes cultural insights, call & response, and audience participation.  “The metaphor, Sweet Honey In The Rock®, captures these African American women whose repertoire is steeped in the sacred music of the Black church, the clarion calls of the civil rights movement, and songs of the struggle for justice everywhere.” The group stays “rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music out of the rich textures of African American legacy and traditions.” Sweet Honey In The Rock® possesses a stunning vocal prowess that captures the complex sounds of Blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, Hip Hop, ancient lullabies, and jazz improvisation. It is said, “Sweet Honey’s collective voice, occasionally accompanied by hand percussion instruments, produces a sound filled with soulful harmonies and intricate rhythms. In the best and in the hardest of times, Sweet Honey In The Rock® has come in song to communities around the world raising her voice in hope, love, justice, peace, and resistance.”

One of the key LEAF achievements is Empowering Youth in WNC through Festive Arts with LEAF in Schools & Streets programs. LSS is currently working weekly with 15 music and arts programs in local public housing communities and center for after-school programs. Surrounding the festival, over 20 of the LEAF artists will also be participating in LSS through arts-in-education workshops, residencies, and enrichment concerts in local schools and centers. Over 25,000 YOUTH and community members have been involved in LSS!

LSS is making residencies, workshops and performances available to local schools and community centers ranging from Malawi, Hoop Dancing, Acadian Traditions, Spoken Word, Blues, a Cappella, Theater, Hip Hop & World Dance, Maritime Folk Song, Audio Production, Jazz, Breakdancing, New Orleans Drum Line, Youth Poetry Slam, Mural Project, and World Choral Traditions to West African Dance & Drumming.

LEAF in Schools & Streets Presents:
A family-friendly outreach performance and school field trip opportunity:
Sweet Honey In The Rock®, Internationally renowned all-woman, African-American a cappella ensemble
Monday, October 24, 2011 | The Orange Peel downtown Asheville, NC
11:00 am. All Ages: $3 for children under18| $8 for adults
Q&A will immediately follow concert. Groups are encouraged to bring|submit questions early.
Tickets: Orange Peel Box office, theorangepeel.net, Ticket web (866) 468-7630
[email protected]This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | 828/68-MUSIC (686-8742) | theLEAF.org & click on Press, then on Events

NEALogoColorLSS provides this special low cost event to make this outreach performance accessible for schools, families & the community. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works. LEAF finds the project “Sweet Honey In The Rock®” artistically important, as it is poignantly relevant to our mission of “creating communities and connecting cultures through music and arts”.

LIGHT OF WISDOM: A brand new, breakthrough K-8 school in Asheville

Friday, July 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Center for Spiritual Living is honored to announce the formation of a new K-8 school in Asheville where children are learning to be extraordinary  spiritual beings who are creating their lives through the power of their thoughts. Those who have seen Louise Hay’s movie, You Can Heal Your Life, know that our thoughts are amazingly powerful.  Now at the Light of Wisdom School, we are teaching this wisdom to our children.

Most children through traditional educational methods are never given the opportunity to recognize their fullest potential.  As a Youth Education Program of the Center for Spiritual Living, Light of Wisdom School with its empowering educational design offers Asheville families an exciting new approach for learning.

Specifically, this school’s guiding philosophy is rooted in:

  • New Thought – The idea that thought is the most creative and powerful force in the universe.
  • Academic Excellence – Our program maintains or exceeds all standards set for North Carolina academic requirements, K-8th grade. Children also experience activities beyond the classroom to foster a wide-ranging and holistic education.
  • Ethics – Beyond reading, writing and arithmetic, children attending Light of Wisdom School are supported in their character development by consciously practicing honesty, integrity and impeccability.
  • Spiritual Growth – Light of Wisdom School embraces New Thought principles that teach children that there is a power within them that they use to create meaningful successful lives.
  • Emotional and Social – Going beyond the basic requirements of traditional teaching methods, Light of Wisdom School nurtures our children through emotional and social development to support their greatest potential.
  • Honoring the Needs of Each Child – With small classes and specialized attention, every child that attends the Light of Wisdom School is deeply cared for and nurtured in ways that support his or her healthy development.

Barbara Waterhouse, Co-Minister of the Center for Spiritual Living, explained, “The children who come to Light of Wisdom School are becoming the greatest versions of themselves, not only for themselves, but for their communities, their country and the world.”  Currently, there are no other New Thought schools in Western North Carolina; so many eyes are on our groundbreaking initiative in Asheville.

About the School
Light of Wisdom School is fully approved by local and state authorities and is now accepting new student enrollment for grades K-8. Children may enter at any grade level and the only requirement is that parents or caregivers are in alignment with the New Thought spiritual philosophy. To tour our school, meet with teachers and/or receive application forms, contact Nancy Miller at 828-670-6725.

More Information

Light of Wisdom School: www.lightofwisdomschool.com

Email: [email protected]

Center for Spiritual Living in Asheville: www.cslasheville.org

Register for Children’s Swimming Lessons Starting TODAY

Monday, July 11th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Buncombe County Parks & Recreation Services is holding one more session of swim lessons this summer. Swim Lessons are available for anyone age 3 and older. Lessons are divided into 5 levels of swim experience, plus a preschool level for swimmers ages 3 and 4.

  • Preschool and Level 1 is a water acclimation class for beginner swimmers.
  • Level 2 teaches swimmers to float on their back and use their arms and legs.
  • Level 3 swimmers learn the front crawl and backstroke.
  • Level 4 and 5 lessons are taught in the deep end of the pool. Students improve upon what they have learned and begin to work on sidestroke and diving.

Registration for lessons begins on July 11 at noon for 2nd Session. Sign up at the pool you plan to attend. Lesson availability is first come, first served. Registration for the swimming lessons begins on July 11 at noon.

Second Session:

  • July 18 – 28 – Registration begins on July 11 at noon. Classes will be Monday – Thursday at the following times:
    • 11 – 11:45 a.m.; Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
    • 11 – 11:30 a.m.; Preschool Class for 3 & 4 year olds
    • 6 – 6:45 p.m.; Levels 1, 2 and 3

The cost is $30 per person for a session of eight of classes. A $2 discount will be offered for families that have two or more family members enrolled. You must register and pay at the pool at which you will be attending.

Cane Creek Pool (Fairview/Arden)
Erwin Community Pool (Leicester)
Hominy Valley Park Pool (Candler)
North Buncombe Park Pool (Weaverville)
Owen Pool (Swannanoa/Black Mountain)

For more information, call Teri Gentile at 684-5072 or email her at [email protected].