Youth Chorus Program Beginning in the 2014-2015 Season

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Published: 04/15/2014

Youth Orchestras of Prince William Announces Addition of Youth Chorus Program Beginning in the 2014-2015 Season

Woodbridge, VA (April 11, 2014) – The Youth Orchestras of Prince William(YOPW) is delighted to announce the addition of a Youth Chorus for the 2014-2015 season.  This treble voice choir will be open to both male and female students in grades 3 through 8.  The chorus will perform a variety of repertoire including classical, folk, and world music and collaborate with YOPW’s orchestras.
 
John Devlin, Music Director said, “YOPW’s mission is to serve the area’s youth by providing them with high-level musical opportunities. We saw a need for an excellent choral program that will bring together talented youth from around the region. Our unique position within the county allows YOPW to do this and will give the chorus the chance to perform with our instrumental ensembles.”
 
YOPW began incorporating choral collaborations into their performances in the 2012-2013 season.  These have proven to be successful learning opportunities for all of the students – orchestra members and singers – and YOPW is excited to expand these offerings. 
 
“Integrating a youth choir into our own offerings is an ideal channel for younger students that are interested in the choral arts. With us, they will grow into excellent ensemble members and enjoy the experience in the way that our instrumental students are currently able,” said Devlin.
Students interested in joining the new Youth Chorus will be required to complete a voice check.  Voice checks will give students the opportunity to meet with Chorus staff one-on-one and will last 5-7 minutes per student. 
 
Voice Checks will be held:
·      Monday, May 12th from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at Gar-Field High School
·      Monday, May 19th from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at Patriot High School
·      Saturday, September 6th from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at Gar-Field High School
 
Appointments can be made by contacting the YOPW Office at (703) 590-7083 or yopw@yopwva.org.

For more than 30 years, the Youth Orchestras of Prince William has provided exceptional instrumental education for the youth of the region. We offer opportunities for a wide spectrum of students, ranging from beginning string players and intermediate wind players to advanced students performing professional symphonic repertoire. YOPW enrolls approximately 275 students in three string orchestras, two symphony orchestras, a wind symphony, and a variety of chamber music ensembles. Our students are primarily from Prince William County, Virginia, but YOPW members come from all over Northern Virginia and North Central Virginia. For more information about the Youth Orchestras of Prince William visit our website: http://www.yopwva.org. 

2014/2015 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center

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Published: 03/22/2014
If we ever get to move into our new house in Manassas, which I consider to be less and less likely every day, one of the things I'm most excited about is being closer to the Hylton Performing Arts Center.  My kids are big lovers of the arts- my middle son Logan is learning the violin and has become obsessed with classical and orchestra music, and all of them love live performances whenever we can make it to one.

I was so very fortunate to be invited to come out for the unveiling of the 2014-2015 Season, which has some really fun options for the whole family.

First, and most obvious, the center offers a "Hylton Family Series" each year.  I consider these to be targeted to a slightly younger crowd, PreK-2nd grade, perhaps? But you're the best judge for your child.  You can purchase individual performances for $10/adult or $5/child and you can also purchase a Hylton Family Series Subscription, which essentially gets you 3 performances at regular price and the fourth for $1. This year will feature:
ImaginOcean October 26th, 2014 at 2pm or 4pm.
Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia takes young audiences on a magical under-the-sea adventure in this one-of-a-kind live glow-in-the-dark musical! Fishy friends Tank, Bubbles, and Dorsel discover a treasure map, thus beginning their remarkable journey of underwater discovery. Jam-packed with music ranging from swing to R&B to big band, this charming story appeals to audiences of all ages and is a blast from the first big splash to the last wave goodbye! Celebrated puppeteer, actor, and singer John Tartaglia got his start working on Sesame Street as a teenager, and later starred in Broadway’s Avenue Q, Shrek the Musical, and Beauty and the Beast, and created and performed in Disney’s television hit Johnny and the Sprites. “A whimsical trip to the depths of the sea.” (Back Stage)
Peter Yarrow April 12, 2015 at 2pm.
Folk musician, songwriter, and children’s author Peter Yarrow returns to the Hylton Center for a fun and interactive musical performance that combines beloved folk tunes with inspiring lessons for children of all ages. This American music legend and Grammy Award winner is perhaps best known for his career with the beloved folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary; yet he is also a spirited activist who now uses his music to educate children about the effects of bullying. In this family-oriented concert, Yarrow performs “Don’t Laugh at Me” and other songs that encourage children to treat each other with compassion, kindness, and respect, as well as some of iconic folk songs from throughout his career, including “If I Had a Hammer,”  “Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”
Pushcart Players Alice in Wonderland February 28, 2015 at 11am or 2pm.
Lewis Carroll’s zany and fantastical tale comes to life when this Emmy-nominated troupe returns to the Hylton Center with Alice in Wonderland. Filled with pure nonsense and madcap characters that everyone knows and loves – from the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter to the Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts – this intriguing tale about a curious and imaginative young girl has enchanted readers for many generations. Pushcart Players now brings young Alice’s adventure to the stage in this delightful adaptation, complemented by whimsical music, vibrant costumes, and spectacular scenic elements. “A polished and knowing theater company and a felicitous event for children.” (The New York Times)
The Berenstain Bears LIVE! Family Matters the Musical on November 22, 2014 at 11am or 2pm. 
Come on down to Bear Country for this enchanting adaptation of Stan and Jan Berenstain’s beloved children’s series. Fresh from its sold-out off-Broadway run this heartwarming musical based on three of the Berenstain Bears most popular books. Brother Bear’s grades are slipping, Sister Bear still has a few things to learn about making new friends, and Papa Bear can’t stop eating junk food – but thankfully, they – and we – can always depend on Mama Bear and her loving patience to set things right. Filled with original songs, fun dancing, and important life lessons, this humorous and heartfelt theatrical experience gives parents the opportunity to share these treasured tales they enjoyed as children with their own young cubs! “Like honey for little kids!” (Mommy Poppins)

Also available for families, several performances throughout the year are marked as "Family Friendly", which also comes with a youth discount.  Half price tickets are available to these performances for students through grade 12.  High Schoolers may attend without an adult chaperone present, but must present their student ID.  Children under high school age must have a paying adult with their party.  These performances can still be pricey, but some of them look really neat.  For 2014/2015 the schedule includes:
The Senegal St. Joseph Gospel ChoirOctober 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm
The National Acrobats of the People's Republic of China: Cirque PekingOctober 19, 2014 at 4:00 pm
American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops: Songs of the SeasonDecember 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm
Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: An Evening with Doc SeverinsenFebruary 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy: Visions from Cape Breton and BeyondMarch 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm
Russian National Ballet Theatre: CinderellaMarch 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm
Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: Popular Piano ClassicsApril 19, 2015 at 4:00 pm

If it was up to me, I'd definitely hit the National Acrobats of the People's Republic of China....and Cinderella. 
Also worth mentioning, the Hylton Center also does a fairly extensive lineup for the Christmas Season, which would be fun for your family or if you have out of town visitors, too!



Disclosure: The Hylton Performing Arts Center invited me to come to their 2014/2015 Season unveiling as a media guest.  I got a free cake pop from Confections.  It was awesome.  No other compensation was provided, although I'll take free tickets anytime if someone from the Hylton Center is reading this.  Just sayin. 

US Science and Engineering Festival 2014!

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Published: 01/24/2014
The 3rd USA Science & Engineering Festival, the largest science festival in the US, features nationwide contests and school programs, including our popular 'Nifty Fifty' science speaker program - presented by InfoComm International. The Festival culminates in a Grand Finale Expo on April 26-27, 2014, with the US News STEM Solutions Conference on April 23-25, and Sneak Peek Friday - presented by the Department of Defense - on April 25. New this year: X-STEM - presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation and MedImmune - an Extreme STEM Symposium for students on April 24.  Get your tickets HERE.

"Area’s Sweetest Teacher" Contest at Sprinkles

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Published: 01/15/2014
Since my neurosurgeon (although I guess he's not "my neurosurgeon" much longer since I hope my last visit will be in February!) and my oncologist (she's mine for the next decade, poor woman!) are at Georgetown University Hospital, I have become a connoisseur of cupcakes in the area.   I know you're not supposed to use food as a reward, but you know, after you spend 2 hours in an MRI tube, those rules no longer apply and you get frosting.  Period.

Sprinkles is by far my favorite DC cupcake location, and they're running a fun contest for teachers.  Check it out below!


Sprinkles Cupcakes Georgetown, the Washington, DC, outlet of the world’s first cupcake bakery, announced today that it will be running a “Sweetest Teacher Contest,” beginning January 21st. Area K - 8 students at schools in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia are invited to submit their favorite teachers for consideration by February 10, by writing a short (250 word) essay about why their favorite teacher is the best. Sprinkles will choose the top three teachers out of these submissions, and the public will vote on the final winner on the Sprinkles DC Facebook page. “Education is such an important part of our community,” said Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes. “This is our way of reaching out and saluting the teachers that give so much of themselves, and provide so much to the children in our area. We are excited to give students a chance to think about their teachers, and express what makes them great. We can’t read to see what students have to say about the educators that have changed their lives.” Forms will be distributed at the store itself, located at 3015 M St NW, Washington DC, or can be submitted to dc@sprinkles.com.

The winning teacher will receive a $250 Sprinkles gift card and a $250 gift card for office supplies, while the first runner up will receive $150 at each location and the 3rd place teacher $100 gift cards.  For additional information and a list of future locations, please visit www.sprinkles.com

Christ Chapel Academy Preschool and K-12

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Published: 01/08/2014
The preschool at Christ Chapel started as Joyful Generation Preschool in September of 1984, under the direction of Debbie Wolf.  Joyful Generation was a part-day preschool that offered a 2 or 3 day program for 3 and 4 year old children.  The first full time childcare program, ranging in ages of 6 weeks through five years of age, in 1990 was contracted by Little Lambs Childcare.  Upon the end of their contact in 1993, Debbie Wolf was tasked to develop a fulltime program, thus Christ Chapel Children’s Center was born, which consisted of Joyful Generation Part-day Preschool and Kingdom Kids Full-time childcare.  Our name changed once again in 2010 as we moved forward to become known as one program, Christ Chapel Academy Preschool.

Christ Chapel Academy’s Preschool Program, Est. September 1984.


At Christ Chapel Academy’s Preschool program, you will find a fun and exciting approach to early child education and care.  We recognize the individuality of each child, and strong emphasis is placed on positively reinforcing the child’s own unique cognitive, physical, social and spiritual development.  We recognize that each child is a gift from God and that they deserve the finest in care and education. Full-time and Part-time options are available for children ages 2-5 years. 

3 Great Reasons to Take a Look at Our Program:

1. Security Patrolled & Monitored Classrooms 
2. Qualified Teachers with Longevity (3-12 years)
3. Accredited Program

Open House Dates:
January 10th, 9:00am-11:00am (Pre-K Only| Enrollment Information and Tour)
January 25th, 1pm-3pm (Pre-K-12th Grade| Enrollment Information and Tour)

Visit our Preschool page here for more information:
goo.gl/j4RkRQ

Contact Information:

Sheila Nelson
Preschool Director
snelson@christchapel.org
13909 Smoketown Road, Woodbridge, Va 22192 | 703-670-3822


This is a sponsored post brought to you by Christ Chapel Academy Preschool



Come Play at Animated Child!

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Published: 12/27/2013
Hello, everyone!

You guys have gotten so good at giveaways/contests on the website that you all are terrible at the newly-legal ones on Facebook.

Horrible ;)

So, I'd like to invite you do join my daughter Savannah and me on New Year's Day at The Animated Child in Montclair for a 9am Open Exploration for FREE! We'll pick 10 random winners to join us.

Please note that each winner will get ONE free spot for a child in grades K-3. Luckily, though, there are lots of people home on December 31st, so if you have older/more kids, they can enjoy a playdate elsewhere! We'll have coffee, hot cider, and a fun giveaway for the mommas, and kids can play and enjoy the space. (Dads, grandmas, whomever enters)

To enter, head over to the Animated Child Facebook page and be sure that you "like" it. Leave them a comment saying that you want to come and play on New Year's Eve Day with PWC Moms. (I know their page doesn't allow you to just "post" but if you use this:

You can just comment on what they already wrote.

I'll pick winners on December 28th. AND NO WORRIES!! If you were able to enter on Facebook, you'll be included in my random drawing, too (although if you want to enter again here, you absolutely can!!) If you aren't picked, Animated Child has daily open explorations, as well as the ability for moms groups, playgroups, MOPS, and preschools to schedule their own private open exploration sessions on Mondays!


Can't wait to see you there!
Kristina

a Rafflecopter giveaway


As always, by entering you agree to be bound by our official rules.  If you win a spot and cancel at the last minute, you will not be eligible for our next reader meetup contest.  I know I'm a big meanie head, and I know stuff happens, but it is amazing to me now that I'm doing events that 20 people's grandfathers can all have a heart attack at the exact moment they're supposed to be at an event.  There are lots of people who would like to come, and I only have so many spaces, so if you take a spot, please plan to attend, or cancel no less than 24 hours in advance.  

Sponsored Post: Animated Child Programs for Fall

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Published: 10/24/2013

We are so thankful for all the businesses that support what we're doing at PwcMoms!! Animated Child is one of our fantastic sponsors, and we want to share with you more about a few of the programs they offer.

1. Before/After School Care:
Animated Child is the alternative to typical Before and After School Care.  Our program allows children to explore and learn while they spend  time in our Open Exploration area. Many parents have compared it to a children's museum! We ditch the traditional teaching model and learn science, technology, engineering and math in a completely hands-on environment.  Children can feed our animals in the Nature Smarts area and construct buildings in our Spatial Smarts area. Homework help is always at the ready and our S.T.E.M. room houses multiple computers for online learning. Join our program and receive 2-FREE Weeks of tuition! 
Call 703-763-0003 for enrollment information.

2. Classes in Language, Art, Social Skills, and STEM Topics
Animated Child is full service enrichment center offering classes in Spanish, French, Art, 2-D Gaming Design and P.E.E.R.S. social skills. Language classes are $200  for 1 class per week. $340 for 2 classes per week. Classes are in 8 week sessions. Enrollment is ongoing. Register any time!  Membership guarantees enrollment and great discounts.

3.  Open Play and Parents Nights Out
The Animated Child provides an integrated environment where children are encouraged to be curious and independent. Our setting is created for the inquisitive child. We aspire to develop a deep sense of self in our children.
Open Exploration Times: (Monday-Friday)
9:00am-10:30am                    Open Explorations are $9 ($7 for members)
11:00am-12:30pm
3:00pm-4:30pm
5:00pm-6:30pm 
Open Exploration Times: (Saturday)
10:00am-11:30am                  
The atmosphere is made to promote imaginative and creative problem-solving skills that generate intrinsic motivation. The Animated Child exists to bring into being an organic movement of emotionally balanced children that recognize abilities within themselves. Our innovative center is inspired by the multiple intelligences of Gardner’s theory, and we engage children in every element in order to highlight their unique way of learning. The vital element of emotional and social intelligence with a global perspective makes the Animated Child a leader in children’s education. The Animated Child recognizes the crucial value of a second language and provides a playful curriculum for complete immersion in language and culture.
4.  Birthday Parties
Various theme options available, including Minecraft!! Visit the website for details and options, as well as pricing. 

Try Hockey Free at PWICE!

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Published: 10/05/2013
We love hockey in our family, and Prince William Ice Center wants to invite your child to try hockey FREE on November 2, 2013 from 2-3:30pm! Register online anytime for this program.


Savings at Animated Child

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Published: 10/01/2013
Our sponsor, Animated Child, is offering PwcMoms.com readers a free class! If you enroll at your free class, you'll also save $80 on your membership! Classes include art, languages, and more!

Language Stars Open House

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Published: 08/03/2013
I didn't start a foreign language until 8th grade, and it's one of my greatest regrets.  While I had the opportunity to take years of French and participate in an exchange, I always wished that I'd started sooner, and at this point, while I understand French, I haven't spoken it in so long I'm not sure I could if I had to. At my high school, they also offered Russian my senior year, which I took both there and in college, as well, and enjoyed very much, but I can't claim to remember much beyond the alphabet and basic conversation.

Oh, and Cheburashka.  How could you forget him?
He's so cute!!

In our area, especially, you find loads of bilingual kids.  I think that it gives children such an advantage to start languages early, and, of course, if you have a parent in the home who speaks two languages it makes things really easy.  For those of us without that advantage, we have to look elsewhere if we want to snag our kids some quality language instruction.
Language Stars offers French, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian and German language instruction for children ages one and up, and has been voted "Best Language Instruction" in the DC Area for the last three years.  Their school year programs begin on September 3rd, so now is the time to look into classes.  While they don't have a Prince William County location, they do have a nearby Fairfax Center, and you can check out the classes, and the drive, during their open house program, which runs from August 5-25, 2013.  You can sign up online to try a free class, and if you register during the open house period, you'll save $100 off your tuition.  


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Language Stars.  All opinions are my own, especially those about the cuteness level of Russian Cartoon Characters. 

Fun Idea: Make Your Own Candy Kits

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Published: 07/02/2013
I am a huge Mindware.com junkie, and while they're not paying me to write this, I would totally be okay it if they wanted to.  Our craft shelves are full of fun activities from them, along with puzzle books, manipulative sets and more.  Being a homeschooling family of 5 in a townhouse means that we can't do major storage of "stuff" without our house looking like the wrong side of an episode of "Hoarders" so we try to get our kits completed.

I actually really do love having things like this around.  They're perfect for a day when the weather makes you change plans last minute and you need something to distract your children from whining at you about how GROSSLY unfair it is that you can't go to the pool without severe risk of death from electrocution due to those pesky afternoon thunderstorms.  

On just such an afternoon, PwcGrammy pulled two make your own candy kits from our shelves.  I think they were actually part of a box that my mother-in-law sent at Christmas, but with all my health adventures, we hadn't gotten to these yet.  Oddly, the chocolate kit seems to have been completed separately.

If you'd like to pick up your own set, we got these, as I mentioned, from Mindware, although Amazon could probably hook you up, too.  The kits are $12.95 each or you can purchase 3 for $36.95.  As mentioned earlier, Chocolate is not pictured.
What's neat about these kits is their focus on ecology.  The gummies are made from fair-trade algae called Carrageenan, which my middle kiddo is holding in his hand in the picture above.  The brochure that comes with the book includes a story about how harvesting the particular red algae used to extract Carrageenan provides revenue for an island village, and how the harvest of seaweed is a sustainable agricultural endeavor.

I'm not sure how much of that they retained, though, because they were too busy noticing that the seaweed smelled like old ocean.  Bad.

The make your own gum kit also has a similar sustainable and eco-friendly slant, and uses chicle, which is the sap from a sapodilla tree in South America, rather than a chemical agent, to provide the appropriate level of "chaw" to your gum.
The actual age on these kits (does anyone with more than one kid actually listen to the age on packages?) is ages 8 and up.  I would go just a tiny bit higher on the gum, to be honest, because you have to microwave several items together and then flatten them out to roll (see daughter getting powdered sugar EVERYWHERE) and the mixture is incredibly sticky and really hot.  PwcGrammy burned her fingers trying to get it out and flat enough for the kids to handle before the whole thing just solidified in the microwave container.  The gum can be flavored mint or cherry, and while it doesn't hold its flavor for long, it does taste and chew just like gum, and has no artificial dyes, so if your child is sensitive, this might be fun for them.

As far as the gummies went, we had a little trouble using the "molding starch" provided in the kit- but you could just as easily use candy molds or cookie cutters from your house and skip the starch step.  Also, as bad as the seaweed smelled, the sour mix (your gummies are sour-patch style) covered up any "ocean" smell or taste.

The kids actually really enjoyed making these, and they especially liked learning about the tree sap and seaweed that went into the treats.  They weren't the best candy we've ever had, and I think that everyone just tried a piece and the rest, honestly, went in the trash a week later, but the process itself was really fun and enjoyable.  Both kits did have a white powdery component, the gum used powdered sugar for rolling and the gummies had "molding starch" which just seemed like cornstarch, but obviously no matter what kind of food-grade powder your slinging around your kitchen, you're going to make a bit of a mess!

We're giving these "Make Your Own Candy" kits 3 out of 5 stars.  The kids loved the process but didn't really eat the candy (not necessarily the worst problem on earth!) and the hot gum was a little hard to navigate without burned fingers.  We had a good time and learned something, but wouldn't probably buy the kits again.

Dance Studios for Children in Prince William County

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Published: 06/22/2013

Our Readers Recommend posts are always great! I love hearing from you who the best businesses to frequent are, especially since I obviously can't try the whole county out myself!! When it comes to dance studios for your beginning dancer, here's what our Dance Moms recommend!  We've included the comments from Facebook, the number of moms who wrote "recommend" posts, and the number of "likes" that posts got for each studio, total.  Some moms don't feel the need to write a new post when their favorite has been mentioned, but we want to include their support!

Studios, by "region" and then in alphabetical order (or I think, anyway- but remember, I had brain surgery...)


Dance Studios for Kids in Haymarket/Gainesville/Bristow:
AG Arts- private, professional ballet classes and coaching.  Caters to a lot of home schooled dancers. Simply the best! (recommended x2, 2 likes)
Gainesville Dance Center- They are so great!! Starts at age 3 and up (recommended x1, 1 like ) 
Gainesville Ballet- our daughter has had the wonderful opportunity to dance on-stage in two Nutcrackers, Coppelia, and Swan Lake beside professional and pre-professional dancers who gently mentor and support.  She is now age 7. (recommended x1, 2 likes)
Tiny Dancers- started out daughter there at 2 with Mommy and Me classes, now she's 5 she's been in 2 recitals! Tiny Dancers is geared towards kids 2-12. (recommended x1, 1 like)


Dance Studios for Kids in Manassas:
Academy of Russian Ballet- Much more modest performances than the other places I've seen. Starts at age 3, three professional productions a year with guest artists (optional participation) students have gone on to the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow and other programs. (recommended x2, 5 likes)
Centreville Dance Academy (This isn't PWC, but since some of you are soooo very close to the line) (recommended x1, 1 like)
Northern Virginia Dance Academy- Professional, reasonable, end of year performace free and open to the public.  We love it there and appreciate the emphasis on modesty. (recommended x1, 1 like)
Showcase Dance- great program for all ages, appropriate costumes, reasonable prices! (recommended x1, 1 like)
Spotlight Dance- great teachers and prices (recommended x3, 3 likes)
Stage Door Dance Studio- Starts at age 3...love these ladies & all the very talented dancers they create! One daughter started at 3, the other at 2, they both love it! (recommended x2, 1 like)
Virginia Dance Center- starts at age 2 and has dance camps over the summer. Has mommy and me class and summer camps.  Great instructors and staff!! The training is incredible!! (recommended x6, 17 likes )

Dance Studios for Kids in Woodbridge/Lake Ridge/Dumfries/Montclair:
All That Jazz- starts at age 2, All That Jazz is wonderful! Ms. Rebecca and her entire staff are fabulous!  You can watch them dance on TV from Lobby or a double mirror by class! The teachers are the best! My youngest does creative movement and my oldest did hip hop. (recommended x6, 27 likes )
Dance Etc- We love Dance Etc.! (recommended x2, 1 like)
DeGrasse Dance Studio (recommended x1, 1 like)
Linda's Ballet Workshop- Ms. Linda is THE BEST!!! Her philosophy is to dance for the love of it. No pressure...just a love of dance!! We have been at Linda's Ballet Studio in Lake Ridge for 3 years. Our daughter started at 3 years old.  We love it there! Reasonable prices and FABULOUS teachers make it an ideal studio. You won't be disappointed. Linda's Ballet Workshop hands down! They even have adaptive ballet for handicapped students. Also love Linda's! One more for Linda's Ballet she taught me for 14 years and is now teaching all 3 of my girls.  We LOVE it there- learn to dance for the love of it- no matter your size, age, or skill level! Perfect for little preschoolers to adult dancers! (recommended x9, 29 likes)


Reader recommendations are voluntarily offered, and do not suggest an endorsement from PwcMoms.  If you'd like to add your suggestions or endorsement, do so in the comments!

Guest Post: Helping Children Sleep After a New Baby

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Published: 06/10/2013

I just had a baby and now my older child won’t sleep – Help!!

You knew you would lose sleep with a newborn, but you may not have been expecting your older child to suddenly need your attention in the middle of the night.  This is however a problem I see quite often, especially if at one time your older child did have some sleep difficulties.

What is going on?

If your child previously slept with you or in your room, they may not understand why the brand new baby is now getting to sleep in your room.  After all, you may have told them that your room is just for Mommy and Daddy if you were transitioning them out of it.  They may start waking in the middle of the night trying to get in bed with you, or may start giving you a hard time about going to sleep at bedtime.  Even if your child did not sleep with you, just the change of having a new brother or sister may cause them a slight amount of stress, which could affect their sleep.  All the changes going on could also be causing their bedtime to be later.  If children are overtired at bedtime, they are more likely to wake during the night and earlier in the morning.

Having Patience

The first step in solving your child’s behavior is to first have (or try to have!) patience and realize where they are coming from.  If your older child was an only child before the baby came, they were used to getting all the attention.  Now, not only is the baby getting some of their attention, the baby probably gets to stay up later with Mom and Dad and gets to spend all night in their room.  How fair is that?!  It is a good idea to spend some extra one on one time with your older child during the day.  You should be totally focused on them (no cell phones or television) and this should last for at least 20 minutes.  Each parent should try to do this every day.

Bedtime

You may need to factor in a little extra relaxing time before sleep time at night.  Your child may need a couple of extra books or some extra songs.  Decide before hand what you will add, and do not let your child dictate what you do.  If you tell them you will read an extra book, stop at that extra book.  If they beg and cry for another one and you give in, you will have taught them to keep begging and crying even if you say no.
If your child is really upset at bedtime, you may think about sitting in their room with them while they fall asleep, then every several days moving further and further away from them or come check on them every 5 or 7 minutes for extra reassurance.

Middle of the Night Wake-Ups

If your child is waking in the middle of the night, discuss with your partner during the day how you want to handle it.  Being consistent is essential in changing a behavior.  So if you do not want your older child coming into bed with you, do not let them do that, even once.  This is especially important if your newborn is sleeping in bed with you – your older child may not be as aware of the baby and could roll on them or crawl over them. 
If you are okay with your older child coming into your room at night if they do not wake you or your baby, you could make a bed for them on the floor.  You could put a crib mattress or sleeping bag on your floor.  You will need to give your child rules – if they sleep in this bed, they need to come into the room quietly and not wake anyone.  This is probably a better idea for a child at least three years old and one that has not shown any jealousy issues toward the newborn.

It Will Get Better

Remember that it will get better, especially if you handle the behavior consistently and with as much patience as you can have being a sleep deprived parent!  Your child may need a little extra reassurance now, but will once again start sleeping well.  And by that time, your newborn may be sleeping better too!


About the Author:
Michelle Winters, of SleepWell Sleep Solutions is a certified Gentle Sleep Coach and Greenproofer based in Northern Virginia. Michelle provides sleep consultations for children up to 6 years old in which she assists parents in creating a gentle, respectful plan to get their children sleeping.  She can also assist parents who are trying to conceive, who are pregnant, and who already have children identify and remove toxins in their environment.  Michelle conducts in person consultations in the Washington DC Metro area and can also conduct consultations over Skype or phone for clients outside the area.  She is also available to conduct workshops and group talks to businesses, parents’ groups and preschools.
This post is provided by SleepWell Sleep Solutions.

Meetup Giveaway: Engineering 4 Kids

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Published: 06/06/2013


Engineering for Kids® was born right here is Stafford, Virginia! Founder Dori Roberts began her teaching career in 1999.  During this career, she saw a dire need for math, science, and engineering enrichment programs.  To remedy this, she ran an after-school club that participated in various engineering and science-based competitions.  After membership hit 180 students, and the group won multiple state championships, she decided to tailor her own program and apply it to a wider age demographic.  Engineering For Kids® offers programs for homeschooling, scout troops, and birthday parties, as well as regularly scheduled classes and camps throughout the school year.  Engineering for Kids (R) will even come to your school--a great opportunity for PTA/PTOs who are looking for activities that will help students foster a love of science, technology, engineering, and math. 

We're really excited about Engineering for Kids® and they've got a great giveaway/meetup scheduled for us!

Join us for a FREE 2-hour LEGO® Robotics workshop! PwcMoms is teaming up with Engineering for Kids® to offer your child the best in fun, challenging, hands-on education.  Children are natural engineers, and we want your child to be part of the experience! "Like" the Engineering for Kids® Facebook page and comment on this post.  When you do, you'll be eligible to win a spot in our free LEGO® Robotics workshop!

Enter using the Rafflecopter widgit below.  There's room for 20 kids in our meetup class, which will be held Thursday, June 20, from 10am-12pm in Southlake.  When you enter, please keep in mind that the appropriate age group is 7-14.  Boys and girls will both enjoy this event! We can't wait to see you there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Passport To Imagination 2013

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Published: 06/04/2013

This summer, Michaels Arts and Crafts will be offering their "Passport to Imagination" program where children ages 5 and up can learn about the 7 continents through crafting.  It's $2 per session, and a great rainy-day backup! Mark your calendar, and check the schedule if there's countries you want to visit! 

Summer Camps with Pediatric Achievements

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Published: 05/30/2013


Pediatric Achievements provides Occupational Therapy services for Prince William County.  As any parent knows, the work your child does during the school year can quickly be lost if they don't keep up their skills during the school break.  Pediatric Achievements is offering summer camps aimed at Kindergarten Readiness and Handwriting.  Note that this office does work with children with special needs.  As a momma who's currently teaching handwriting at home to my little ones at varying levels, I can't tell you how valuable a service I think this would be!  Pediatric Achievements is located in the Tackett's Mill Shopping Center. 





Here's information from Pediatric Achievements:



Our registration deadline is June 12th and the camps begin the week of June 24th.  They run once a week through the week of August 5th.  We have the following camps:



Woodbridge Office:

Kindergarten Prep (4-5 year olds), Mondays from 9:30 to 10:45 am

Advanced Printing (1st &; 2nd grade), Mondays from 11:00 to 12:15 p.m.

Beginner Cursive, Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.



Manassas Office:

Advanced Printing (1st & 2nd grade), Wednesdays from 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm.

Camp sessions will include games, crafts and handwriting in a small group setting.  Cost is $150 +$10 workbook for 6 sessions (allowing a week for travel/conflicts) or pay $170 (including workbook) for 7 sessions.  Camps utilize Handwriting Without Tears method.



Please call our office at 703/491-1044 or our website at:  www.pediatricachievements.com for more information.



Disclosure: As required by law, we want you to know this is a sponsored post, paid for by Pediatric Achievements.  PwcMoms.com and its owners/operators/writers are not responsible for camp content or staff.  Please be sure to visit the Pediatric Achievements website for additional information and details.  


Giveaway: Peter and the Wolf at the Hylton Performing Arts Center

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Published: 01/19/2013

The children and family performances at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia, are a great way to expose your children to the arts in Prince William County!

Coming up in February, the Hylton Family Series will be presenting Peter and the Wolf on February 2nd with showtimes at 2pm and 4pm.  Children's tickets are just $5, which is very affordable, with adults at $15 per ticket.  Tickets can be purchased at 1-888-945-2468, or online at HyltonCenter.org

Here's a synopsis:
The Pushcart Players makes its Hylton Center debut presenting the beloved and familiar folk tale,Peter and The Wolf. Set to music by Prokofiev, this charming Russian story follows a young boy who dares to venture into the woods, despite his grandfather’s warning about a dangerous wolf that lurks within. When Peter’s beloved duck, Clara, is swallowed whole by the wolf the brave boy is determined to capture the fierce creature and save his friend. This classic tale offers a splendid introduction for children into the world of music, with a different instrument and melody representing each character in the story. Don’t miss this Emmy-nominated ensemble hailed by The New York Times as “a polished and knowing theatre company … for children.”


The Hylton Performing Arts Center is generously offering two family four packs of tickets to Prince William County Moms readers, one set for the 2pm performance and one set for the 4pm performance.  Enter using the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner assumes all liability and risk.  Facebook is not affiliate with this contest. Prize provided directly to winner by Hylton Performing Arts Center, not transferrable or exchangeable for other performances or cash.

Review: Skate N Fun Zone

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Published: 01/17/2013
If you've been reading my site for any amount of time, you know that we're huge fans of "Mommy Dates" and "Daddy Dates" in our family. (If you haven't been reading my site, then welcome.) We truly value having one-on-one time with our children so that we can really have time to know their hearts and how they're doing.  We try to make sure that each child gets individual time with one of us at least once a month.  Sometimes it's a big deal and we take them out to do something that costs money, but other times it's a walk, or a trip to Starbucks, or a walk around Target and something from the $1 section.

On New Years Eve Day, our boys were invited to go play with friends, which left our daughter home alone.  I needed to do some lesson planning, so she and daddy decided to capitalize on their alone time by heading out to Skate N Fun Zone, which offers a New Year's Eve Party at both mid-day and midnight.  Brilliant!  They actually offer special events both weekly and monthly, including a homeschool skate, rock-n-stroll for parents who have infants and older children, and more.

Skate N Fun Zone is located at 7878 Sudley Road  Manassas, VA 20109 (for those of you who always like to have an address listed) 

$10 per person covered their admission, glow cups, a balloon drop, party favors, and glow sticks.  With just two of them, it was definitely workable, although they also offer a discount for purchasing a "super pack" with 4 admissions.  For a special event like New Years, I would say that's worth it. 

The actual building is behind a few other buildings, so while there is a sign from the road, you have to "do kind of a u-turn thing" to get to the actual location. 

He's an engineer, guys, not a writer. 

For this particular event, there was no parking available, and my husband ended up asking a local Liberty Mutual agent if he could park in his lot, and he was very nice, since it was New Years.  However, inside my husband heard there's overflow parking (somewhere) so be sure to check on that if you find yourself in the same situation.

After they rented their skates, they found a spot to drop their stuff, which was slightly challenging since there were so many people.  Lockers are available to rent for your valuables, which is probably a good idea especially on a special event day.  He had this recap:
"Everything seemed relatively clean, but definitely used.  The floor was definitely well-worn, but it didn't impede our ability to skate.  There's a jungle gym included in the price, a little food area where you can buy food, and an arcade area similar to Chuck-E-Cheese where you can pay for games and get tickets to trade in for lame prizes."
"I'd say what I liked most was that they had a large variety of things to do, and even with the skating they'd shift between a game (like Limbo or backwards skate) and regular skating, and there was the arcade and the gym, so we were able to rotate a lot and stay for a pretty long time considering our daughter is 4.  We were there for several hours.  We got there just as they were finishing the balloon drop, and it was loud, so she wasn't a huge fan of that becuase everyone was popping balloons and that was "scary" for her.  I'd go again, we had a great time. I also liked that their rules included the ability to kick people out who were not dressed appropriately, were cursing, or appeared to be under the influence of anything."
I tried to grill him about something negative to say, but the hard part about reviewing things in our family is that we, generally speaking, have fun, and decide that it's a good time :)

My daughter also said that she had fun and would go again.

Especially with her daddy.




Not a paid or solicited review, hubby and DD went and paid just like everyone else. 





Kid Friendly New Year's 2013

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Published: 12/31/2012
New Year's Eve in Prince William County has a few fun options for kids!!

Christ Chapel will be offering a NYE service at 10pm. 13909 Smoketown Road Woodbridge VA

The Cavalier Family Skating Center will host an a New Year's Party.  Monday, December 31st from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am. They will be giving away an iPad Mini (must be present to win). Black Outs, Games, Flash Light Skates, Dances, Balloon Drop. Tickets are $20. Receive FREE skate rental with an advanced ticket purchase. 1924 Jefferson Davis Highway Stafford, VA 22554

Skate N Fun Zone will also have some options:

Kids In Motion offers an annual Kids' Party for ages 3 to 12  from  7 pm - 9 am.  It's $35 for the first child and $30 for each additional sibling.  RSVP by December 27th to save $5 per child.  Pizza, games, hats, necklaces and a balloon drop at 10pm.  Call 703-878-0100, must pay in advance.

If you want to keep the kids home with you (and asleep) Jump N Jimmy's will have open bounce from 10am-6pm.  Work them hard and put them to bed early ;)

Leesylvania Park will offer a “First Day Hike,” so you can start the new year with some exercise! This is a self-guided hike along Lee’s Woods trail; plus a scavenger hunt for young hikers, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Leesylvania State Park, 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Dr. Woodbridge. Parking, $4. 703-583-6904.

December 2012 Fairfax Symphony Kids' Passport Program

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Published: 11/28/2012
The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra invites students and families to attend its next concert on Saturday, December 8th, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax, VA, at 8:00 p.m. This performance features pianist, James Dick, and works by Rossini and Tchaikovsky. All students will be invited to join the Student Passport Club!
Fairfax Symphony Concert Information:
· Date: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
· Location: George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, Fairfax
· Cost: Student Tickets only $5; Adult Tickets begin at $25
· Tickets: Available beginning at 6:00 p.m. on December 8th at the “Student Ticket Window.” Students must be present when purchasing their tickets the night of the concert.
· Parking: Free in Lot K; event parking fee in garage
· Personal passportto be stamped at each event
· Special program notesand activity sheets for each concert
· Free gifts
· Invitation to a special reception with an opportunity to meet FSO musicians and play many different instruments
· JOIN IN ADVANCEOR AT THE CONCERT ITSELF!
Mischief in Music Corner:
If you attended the last FSO concert in November, bring back your program with the Scavenger Hunt questions completed for an extra stamp! Those who missed this performance are welcome to participate too. Simply bring your answers to the following questions about the composer featured on this performance:
1. How old was Rossini when his first opera premiered?
2. What instrument did Rossini play with his father’s musical group?
3. At what age did Tchaikovsky begin playing the piano?

Hylton Family Series Presents: Trout Fishing In America

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Published: 10/09/2012
While it may sound a little messy for a venue like the Hylton Performing Arts Center, Trout Fishing in America is actually a dynamic duo of children's singers, and not, as one may have thought, a potential for a tasty fish fry dinner.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Trout Fishing in America warm the hearts and tickle the funny bones of both children and adults alike with silly songs such as “My Hair Had a Party Last Night,” “Rock and Roll Roosters,” “Hello, My Chicken Thinks He’s a Dog,” and “When I Was a Dinosaur.” Bassist Keith Grimwood and guitarist Ezra Idlet continually win over countless fans of all ages with its infectious blend of folk/pop and family music peppered with the influences of reggae, Latin, blues, jazz and classical music. Over the years, the duo has earned Grammy nominations, Parents’ Choice and Indie Awards, and recently authored several children’s books/CDs sets including their newest, Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important. “The Trout boys work to entertain ‘kids’ of every age.” 

PS- There's a height disparity here...
Trout Fishing in America will play the Hylton's Merchant Hall on October 20th at 2pm.  Adults are $15.00 and Children are just $5.00.  If you've not been to the Hylton Performing Arts Center yet, you really do need to go.  The theatre is exquisite, and the experience is very reminiscent of a trip to the Kennedy Center, but without the traffic, parking fees, etc.   Plus, it's in Manassas, and you know how strongly I feel about not having to leave Prince William County to be entertained! 

Want to go?
The Hylton Center is offering a family 4 pack of tickets to "Trout Fishing in America" to a lucky PwcMoms reader! Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Hylton Family Series also has "Peter and the Wolf" coming in January, and February and "Masked Marvels and Wondertales" coming in March.


PwcMoms.com was not compensated for this post.  PwcMoms is not responsible for your personal experience at a venue, all opinions are our own.


Tea With Mrs. B

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Published: 09/21/2012

Tea with Mrs. B, located in McLean, VA and Bethesda, MD, is a children¹s tea room focused on providing a fun and memorable lesson in manners, etiquette and poise.

Never one for boring, every day instruction, Mrs. Rebecca Czarniecki, better known as Mrs. B, captivates her audience with detailed stories and her outgoing, joyful personality. From private adult and corporate manners classes to customized birthday parties for children, Mrs. B is here to help with all things etiquette. 


Join Mrs. B the third Saturday of every month at the Bethesda Lebanese Taverna for her newest program, Mingling and Manners 101. Designed especially for tweens and teenagers, Mrs. B provides lessons on dining etiquette, proper body language, communication skills and navigating certain social situations, over lunch and tea.  $55 per person.


To contact Mrs. B, please call 202.448.2930, e-mail b@teawithmrsb.com orvisit www.teawithmrsb.com 

Want to meet Mrs. B for something more fall-ish? Tea with Mrs. B, along with Art Works, is having a Halloween Haunt at the Historic Beall House (7740 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814). This event will take place on October 27 from 4-6pm and will include music, face painting, a candy hunt, a haunted house and games and prizes. All ages are invited! 

Mrs. B is so excited to share her programs with PwcMoms, and she's even got a special "tea for one" set for a lucky reader! To win, email info@pwcmoms.com with "Tea With Mrs. B" in the subject line! Contest closes Saturday, September 22nd.  

Urban Evolution

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Published: 09/20/2012
You need to shake up your child's monotonous perspective on staying fit with some exercise, but you don't want to make them feel like a hamster in a wheel on a treadmill or pass the ball around for 3 hours at a stretch! Check out Parkour classes at Urban Evolution for PwcMoms fans! Pay $100 for 10 visits to the gym (a 10-visit "punchcard"), and change how they look at the world forever! (This is a special savings for PwcMoms.com readers.) 

Classes are available for kids ages 6 to 14, with dedicated "homeschool only" classes for kids ages 9-11 on Wednesdays at 1pm, and more classes for other age groups to come as we grow the program! Here's a schedule for all the kid classes that are currently being offered at Urban Evolution Manassas.

Urban Evolution (or "Urban Evo" for short) has locations in Alexandria and Manassas and different age and skill level options each week, allowing boys and girls throughout Northern Virginia to learn Parkour. Cross off the food pellets and wood chips from your grocery list, because thanks to Urban Evolution, you can graduate your child from hamster to hall of famer. It's the perfect activity to grab the interest of kids who might not gravitate to team sports or whose idea of fitness is a PlayStation controller thumb workout...but it can be demanding enough for professional football players! It's a great way to help kids change their ideas about fitness while helping them build self-esteem and encouraging them to work hard.


So you’ve heard of parkour before, and maybe you’ve even seen some pictures or videos labeled as parkour, but what exactly is parkour? 

It's not strictly defined by any particular workout or conditioning regiment. It’s more about finding the way to keep improving and eventually reach your greatest physical potential. And that’s what makes it so great! Your only opponent here is yourself. Your competition is you (at least officially speaking). So it does have its philosophical side, but here at Urban Evolution, we’ve come up a variety of ways to challenge your kids and hone their skills in a safe and fun environment! 

Urban Evolution offers many other classes as well. After some training, you'll be able to check out more advanced training in parkour. We bring discipline and conditioning together with creative obstacle courses to challenge your mental and physical abilities. Generally, our high teacher-to-student ratio allows us to address questions and work through challenges for kids of all types on an individual basis.

This is a sponsored post from Urban Evolution.  As with any physical activity, please note you participate at your own discretion.  PwcMoms is not responsible for children's participation in any activity listed. 

Smiley Face Pizzas

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Published: 09/05/2012
As I shared a few weeks ago, I'm on a constant hunt for easy-to-eat foods for our co-op days.  We tried out corn dog muffins, which were a hit with my kids, so I thought I'd switch it up for some vegetarian fare this time!

So pizza.  Pretty easy.  Easier than rotating pictures in your blog posts.  True story.  For these, we used whole wheat mini pitas as our base, leftover spaghetti sauce as our sauce, some part-skim mozzarella, and some bell peppers.  My kids adore bell peppers, and snack on the red ones whenever they can get their hands on them.  
I used the wrong end of a piping tip to cut circles, but a small cookie cutter or even a knife would help you get shapes just as well.  You could use other veggies, too, to make your faces, but we had bell peppers, sooooo....we just went with it. 
This one isn't rocket science.  Place a mini pita on the pan, add sauce to your liking (I let the kids make their own, so you'll notice various levels of sauce and cheese application) and then funny face it up! Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese melts, but do not over bake or the pitas will become too crunchy to be enjoyable.

These were a big hit for us.  We baked them the day before and ate them room temperature at CC for lunch.  The kids thought they were great, and didn't mind that they weren't hot.  My 8 year old ate two, but one was enough for each of the others.

Smiley Face Pizzas
4 Whole Wheat Mini Pitas
1/2 Cup Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Cup Marina or Pizza Sauce
Vegetables to top

Giveaway: Free Week of Camp!!

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Published: 08/16/2012

ATA Martial Arts (8088 Sudley Road, Manassas VA) emailed us to let us know they have a few spots left in their last week of Summer Camp, which runs August 27-31st, and that they'd like to fill one of them with a PwcMoms giveaway!


Camp is for ages 6 and up, and runs from 8am-5pm.  It's an active camp, so your child will be busy and engaged "minus the video games" according to the description from the owner.


If you don't win, camp is a great price for this area at $150 for full-day care.  There are 4 spots remaining for camp, minus the spot available through this giveaway!!  Thanks so much to ATA Martial Arts for this great giveaway!!

To Win:
Enter up to 4 ways.  Leave a comment indicating you've completed each.  If I cannot contact you, you cannot win, so be sure that you provide an email address, either in your comment or by emailing it to me separately!
1- "Like" (or have already liked) ATA Martial Arts on Facebook and leave a comment here saying you did
2- "Like" (or have already liked) PwcMoms on Facebook and leave a comment here saying you did
3- Tweet the link to this contest and include @PwcMoms in your tweet and leave a comment here saying you did
4- Email your entry to PwcMoms

Remember, winners are picked at random, so please do not try to break my heart thinking it will help! It just makes me sad!! Winner will be selected at random at midnight on Sunday, August 19th and announced on Monday, August 20th.

Good luck!  (Also, be sure to check out ATA Martial Arts for the school year, too!)


Disclaimer: No purchase necessary, winner assumes all liability and risk, PwcMoms is not responsible for winner's individual experience or any injuries from taking part in a martial arts based program.  Winner has 24 hours to claim their prize or it will be forfeit and offered to the next randomly selected winner.  PwcMoms is not responsible for ensuring you receive your notification in a timely manner.