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Sunday, January 31, 2010

O Yea, We Have an O. Henry Winner!

By Katie M

A big congrats goes out to Lori Clark who won our Facebook fan contest and will get to enjoy a night at the O. Henry Hotel with her husband, Dale, in Greensboro! Lori was randomly picked from over 100 readers who helped to recruit several hundred new fans to our Official Triad Smarty Pants Facebook fan page - helping us reach and exceed our 1,000 fan milestone! Thank you to all who participated in this contest and for boosting our numbers!

Lori and Dale have one son, Cameron, who is six, and what she loves most about TSP is "the amount of truly useful information you all provide to mommies just like me!!!! I could read all of the info/blogs/links/TIPS for hours - it is so just much!"

Here's what TSP reader Lori had to say about winning, "Oh HOW HEAVENLY this will be!!!! I can't believe it!!! I thought when I entered how marvy it would be to my hubby (because of COURSE I will take him, too) would be thrilled!!!! He needs it - even more than me!!!! We will use it for US, to have a DATE/couple night!!!!! How thrilling!!!!!"

Congrats, Lori and enjoy your night! Stay tuned for more contests to come from TSP!


Cord Blood Banking

By Dana D, Charlotte Smarty Pants

As a pregnant woman, I see advertisements all the time for cord blood banking. I am nearing the end of this pregnancy so I am definitely more aware of this because I haven’t really decided what I am going to do. It all seems a little controversial. I did not do this for my twins and I always felt a little guilty about it. My OB at the time didn’t recommend cord blood banking. He said that we were better off putting that money toward the boys’ college education. It was all very new at that time and he didn’t feel there had been enough research. He also had made a good point that there was no regulation in regard to these banks and who knows if they would even be around in a few years. This seems to be the general consensus among physicians. I have spoken to several obstetricians who feel the same way. I have also read several articles where the American Medical Association was cited as saying it feels it could be a waste of money.

All of the above concerns private cord blood “banking“. It appears everyone is in “favor” of donating the cord blood to a public “bank” if you will. Cord blood can be used to treat a variety of diseases, for example leukemia, but again, many Ob’s say it hasn’t turned out to be as successful as they had anticipated. There is around a one in 20,000 chance that you would use this for your child. The cost is thousands of dollars. They say the real value is donating to a public bank that can be utilized by many.

Of course, the private cord blood banks play and tug on your heartstrings. It makes me feel terrible to think, “what if something happened to one of my children and I hadn’t banked the cord blood?”

I am reaching out to you Smarties to see what your views and opinions are regarding this topic. I would also love to hear why you did or didn’t store the cord blood. Again, donating the cord blood is highly recommended if you don’t bank yours. It appears that a high percentage of mothers are unaware of this option and the majority is discarded as medical waste. We would also love to hear what bank you used if you did bank your cord blood and why you chose that particular one. There are several out there these days.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Smarty Mom: Rachel Keener

By Katie M

Happy snow-filled Saturday! If you find yourself stuck inside this weekend without a good book to curl up with, then take note of today's Smarty Mom: Rachel Keener. Rachel is the author of The Killing Tree, and she is getting ready to release her second novel, The Memory Thief, which will be in stores on March 10. Despite the fact that she is a full-time mother to two young boys, Rachel was able to pen her second book in just 16-months.

Rachel comes highly recommended as a Smarty Mom by two loyal TSP readers who wrote to Triad Smarty Pants on separate occasions asking for us to please profile Rachel. They had met Rachel at their book club meetings where Rachel visited as a guest speaker. One reader wrote, "I don't actually know her but she came and spoke to our book club yesterday. She told us that she is a stay-at-home mom and that she writes when her boys go to bed. Several of us commented that we felt like we had accomplished a lot if we just got the kitchen cleaned up after the kids went to bed, much less write a book!"

Rachel and her husband Kip have two sons, Kiplan (age 6) and Abram (age 3). They've lived in the Triad nearly 10 years. I'm excited for all of us to get to know this smarty author and mom a little more.

I am in awe that you wrote and published a novel, especially as a mom! How did you do it?
My first novel, The Killing Tree, was written before I had children. I could write whenever I wanted---throw myself into the pages, stay up as late as I wanted, sleep in on the weekends. But with my second, I had two little boys and a tight deadline (16 months!) to meet. My husband and I stopped treating my writing like a hobby. We treated it like a business instead, with obligations that couldn’t be shrugged off. We kept to our normal daily routines. I took care of the boys and our home during the day while he worked. But once he came home, we’d have supper together and then I’d go to “work” with my laptop in some corner of the house. He handled the evening routines of bed and bath. Like any job, there were always times when this routine had to give way to the needs of my family. There were ear infections that could only be soothed by Mommy, cupcakes that needed to be baked for a class party, and nights when my husband had to work late or I was too exhausted to do anything creative. But for the most part, we stuck to the schedule. And we met that deadline with The Memory Thief.

How do you balance your work and home life?
My original commitment — the one I left my day job for — is to care for my family. I can’t stop cooking supper, reading Curious George books aloud, or attending playdates, just because I want to write. If I’m writing under deadline, we treat my writing like an evening business that begins after I’ve spent my day as a stay at home mom. But if I’m not under a deadline, writing is a sweet indulgence, as good as the end of day bubble bath. I find myself jotting down ideas or lines, whenever they occur, and saving them for a time I might want to sink into them and create something larger.

I’ve also had promotional work for The Killing Tree this past year. But most of the meetings have been either at night once my boys headed to bed, or on the weekends when my family can tag along and we can turn the trip into an adventure.

What Smarty tips do you have for moms in your position?
My biggest advice for aspiring mommy-writers is don’t demand a clean start. Don’t wait for the big idea, the full outline, or the whole plot revealed. Start scribbling, find a voice you like, and ask questions about it. Allow your characters to answer you. If I had waited for the entire concept of The Killing Tree or The Memory Thief before starting, I wouldn’t have written them. Instead, The Killing Tree began with a few lines of poetry. The Memory Thief began with one small scene that ended up near the end of the novel. There is a mystery in the creation of a story. We don’t have to understand it all as we go along. It’s enough to just experience it.

You are often asked to attend local Triad book clubs as a guest speaker. Tell us about that.
One of my favorite things of the past year has been meeting with local book clubs. I frequently call out-of-state book clubs at night, to join their discussion via speaker phone. But I love to attend local book club chats. Having a book published was a dream come true, but hearing it discussed by groups of readers has taken that dream to a whole new level. It is so fulfilling to hear readers’ thoughts, answer their questions, and discover what their favorite lines or scenes were. I encourage any Triad book clubs that are interested in selecting either The Killing Tree, or The Memory Thief, to email me at to set up a discussion time.

What else do you like to do in your spare time (when you have spare time!)?
I am a passionate cook. I love to try new recipes. When I find a new dish that my family and friends love, it feels like I’ve discovered gold. I also enjoy volunteering at my sons’ school, and teaching a three year old Bible Fellowship class at Calvary Baptist.

And for our lighter questions...

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
Children’s Place offers good deals on boys basics like jeans, t-shirts and jammies.

Favorite place to splurge on kids clothes?
Gap Kids for their superhero t-shirts. My boys loves these.

What is your favorite family activity?
Swimming, taking walks through the woods to look for “treasure” like cool rocks and turtle shells

Favorite “mommy-time” activity?
Having coffee with my friends.

Best place to eat lunch and/or dinner with the kids?
Midtown Café is great, because there are lots of options for everyone. My boys love the pancakes and the food is served quickly.

Favorite date place?
P.F. Changs in Greensboro

Funniest thing your kid(s) has ever said?
6 year old: My algebra is really bothering me. It makes my nose run and my eyes itch. (Me: You mean allergies.) No mom, Algebra is way worse than allergies!
3 year old: When I grow up I’m going to be an asteroid. (he meant astronaut)

Favorite park in the Triad?
Joanie Moser

Mini-van or SUV?

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
There are so many adventures within driving distance. Not just the mountains or the coast, but smaller things like the Caraway Speedpark—where my boys can watch some great races without all the crowds/traffic of Nascar.

Best mom secret YOUR mom has shared with you?
Not to expect my husband, Kip, to always parent the same as me. Maybe Kip wouldn’t hold our baby the way I believed would keep his neck “perfectly” stable. Maybe Kip wouldn’t respond with as much sympathy to their tears, as I would. But my children have a Mommy. They don’t need two of me. My husband and I are different, and approach them with our own unique and complete love. Our kids need that.

Oh, and her cornbread recipe. I’m keeping that one to myself.

Best birthday party you have attended?
A camping party for a six year old boy. There was a tent set up in the backyard for the boys to play (i.e. wrestle) in. A marshmallow roast over a fire pit. Camping themed games like a “Build A Tent” race using pool noodles and PVC joints. Then, once it was dark, each child was given a flashlight and a bag and led into an adjoining lot where glow in the dark plastic creatures like spiders, snakes, and dragonflies had been scattered all over the ground. The campers were able to keep whatever bugs they found and “caught.”

Best book you’ve ever read?
An impossible question for me. But the book that means the most to me is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. This book taught me how beautiful language can be---how deeply it can make me feel, how easily it can break my heart. I read it during the same season that I first fell in love and found myself reading passages over and over just to savor their perfection. The plot was wonderful, but it’s Hurston’s words that I’ll never forget.

What’s your favorite thing about Triad Smarty Pants?
That it’s a collection of local stories, brimming with authentic Triad flavor. I also admire how it’s a source of collective-mother-wisdom. The shared tips, bargains, and ideas are so valuable.

I could not live without my...laptop.

I wish someone had told me sooner about... The Keurig single brew coffee maker. No more stale coffee in the bottom of the pot for me. Each cup is piping hot, freshly brewed, and perfect.

Great answers, Rachel, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your story with TSP readers! We're so glad our readers recommended you!

If you know a Smarty Mom or Dad , you can nominate her/him by sending us an email at


Friday, January 29, 2010

Smarty Alert: Burkhead Preschool Open House Postponed

We just learned that Burkhead Preschool in Winston-Salem has postponed its Open House due to inclement weather. The new date and time is Monday, February 8 at 6 pm. Please update your calendar!

For more information on Burkhead Preschool, visit our blog here!


Smarty Sponsor: Goslen Printing

By Katie M

It’s not every day you hear about a family-owned company that’s been in business for more than 135 years in the Triad. But when you do, you know it must be doing something right. Well, Smarty Sponsor Goslen Printing does more than just something right – it does everything top notch.

If you are ever looking to print invitations, customized note cards, announcements, posters, programs, church bulletins, or newsletters (and chances are good you will at some point in your life as a mom), you need to consider Winston-Salem-based Goslen Printing. Not only do they have more than a century of experience, but their staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and focused on getting your job done right and on time.

And their prices are good too! But according to Mark Goslen, a fourth-generation Goslen and president of Goslen Printing (whose daughters, Gianna and Alex, are pictured left to right with their dog Zeus) it’s more than just the price. "It’s all about quality product, relationships and superior service. That’s what we hang our hat on.”

Goslen Printing can help take you through every step of your project – from designing your job to selecting the right papers to printing (from high-end offset and digital to Xeroxing and color copying) and bindery. It’s a full service shop, and it’s also connected to Invitations Only, an adorable shop specializing in personalized stationery, note cards and unique gifts. In fact, Mark’s wife Robyn, who joined the company in 1996, is co-owner with Mary Reynolds of Invitations Only.

I’ve been a big fan of Invitations Only ever since I moved to the Triad. Robyn helped me design and print party invitations a few years ago, and her genuine dedication and helpfulness made a lasting impression. I always like to pop in to the store to check out what they have in stock for gift and stationery ideas. And I just found out that you can order many of their custom products online at You can’t beat the selection of products, and once you customize your message you can review your order online. Place your order and they’ll ship it to you within three business days!

Little did I know that a few years later we would team up with Goslen Printing on a project for Triad Smarty Pants (they printed our super cute TSP postcards!). And not surprisingly, the same level of professionalism, dedication and friendliness shined through yet again. We have really enjoyed working with Mark and his team.

There are a lot of milestones to celebrate as moms, and no one can help you do it better than Goslen Printing. I encourage you to check out all they have to offer with your next printing project. And while you are out there, stop in to Invitations Only too. Trust me, you won’t come home empty-handed (and you’ll be happy about that!).

Goslen Printing and Invitations Only are both located at 3301 Healy Drive in Winston-Salem. Their phone is 336-768-5775, and their store hours are Monday – Friday 8 am to 4 pm.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kindergarten Registration for Guilford, Forsyth and Randolph Counties

By Rachel H

The time is near! Kindergarten Registration is just around the corner. Those of us here at Triad Smarty Pants know it can be a stressful time, but we hope to make it an enjoyable time by supplying you with the information you need to know. Below we have posts from representatives with the Guilford County School System, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school system, and Randolph County. We truly appreciate them taking the time to share this much-needed information with TSP readers so that your child can have a smooth transition to Kindergarten!

Guilford County Schools - By Haley H Miller, Media Relations Manager, Guilford County Schools

Guilford County Schools (GCS) encourages families of 4 and 5-year-olds to prepare for kindergarten registration early. We want our youngest students to have an easy transition this fall. Understanding the qualifications and gathering the required materials in advance will save families time and stress.

Kindergarten registration begins Monday, March 1. Children must turn 5 years old by Aug. 31 to enroll in kindergarten. In order to register your child, please provide the following items to your child’s assigned school:
1. Certified copy of your child’s birth certificate
2. Fully completed Kindergarten Health Assessment Report
3. Immunization (shots) record from your child’s health care provider
4. Proof of residence showing name and address of parent(s) or court-appointed guardian/custodian

Check out the district’s Web site for more information. Don’t know where your child should attend school? Parents can find out their child’s school assignment by using our GCS School Locator or by contacting the Student Assignment Office at 336-370-8303.

At GCS, we also have a number of magnet school programs, ranging from Spanish Immersion to fine arts to Montessori. To learn more and decide what program might be right for your child, attend the district’s Magnet Fair coming up on Feb. 13 at the Greensboro Coliseum Pavilion. The fair will take place from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. For more info, visit the Magnet Schools Web page.

GCS and community partners will host a “Kickoff to Kindergarten Parent Day” on Monday, Feb. 22 at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, 220 N. Church St., Greensboro. The free event, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., will inform parents about resources available in the school district and greater community. The district also held a similar event in High Point on Jan. 25.

For families with children who turn 5 after Aug. 31, there are a number of free pre-K programs within GCS and the community. Applications for GCS pre-K programs will be accepted through Friday, April 23. In addition, gifted 4 1/2-year-olds who are functioning two to three years beyond their age may be eligible to enroll in kindergarten early. Parents with questions about qualifications for early kindergarten should contact the principal at their child’s assigned school.

If you have any questions, the GCS pre-kindergarten office will be glad to help. Please call 336-370-2362.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools - By Theo Helm, Director of Marketing and Communications

Enrolling your child in kindergarten is an exciting time, , but also one filled with questions and decisions. Remember that our schools are excited to meet your child. Teachers are called to the profession for many reasons, but they share a devotion to children. Beyond that, many are parents themselves and understand your anxiety. If you’re confused, ask questions. All of us want to make the transition to school fun, so that you and your child can’t wait for school to start.

Often parents ask how they should pick a school. This is a decision that’s as unique as your child. The N.C. School Report Cards have a wealth of information, including test scores, teacher qualifications and safety information. Test scores often seem like the easiest way to evaluate a school, but we urge you to look beyond these. We don’t believe children should be judged solely by test scores, and we feel the same way about schools. The best way to determine the right school is to visit. Talk to teachers and parents, and look at the classrooms and students. Is the atmosphere inviting? Do students and teachers look like they’re engaged and in tune with each other? You know your child, and you’ll know if the environment is right. If you would like to learn more about the Magnet School Program, be sure to read our recent post here.

Next, it’s important to know how children are assigned to schools. Your child is eligible for kindergarten next year if he or she will be 5 years old by Aug. 31. Where you live determines your residential school, which is your home base for determining assignments. You can find your residential school by calling 336-748-3302, or by entering your address in the School Locator. This will also tell you the other schools in your zone.

You are always guaranteed a spot in your residential school if that’s where you want to go. What makes WS/FCS unique is our Choice period, a two-week period held every year that allows parents to choose another school in their zone. This year’s Choice period is Feb. 22-March 5. Parents fill out a Choice card and rank the top three choices in their zone. You’re guaranteed one of your choices, and we do everything we can to grant parents’ first choices. Transportation is provided to any of your choices. You’ll receive your assignment in the mail around March 22.

There’s also a time to apply to schools outside of your zone from April 7-16. Only schools with extra space will take out-of-zone students, and you must provide your own transportation. Applications are available on the Student Assignment Web site.

In short, here’s what you need to do:
1. Gather the materials you need to register your child: his or her birth certificate, proof of your residence, (it can be a lease, mortgage statement, electric bill, gas bill or water bill) and immunization records.
2. Figure out your residential school by calling 748-3302 or using the School Locator.
3. Go to your residential school between Feb. 22 and March 5 to register and fill out a Choice card. (Even if your residential school is not the school you are choosing, this is where you will pick up your choice card.)
4. Wait for your assignment letter to arrive in the mail sometime around March 22.
5. If you’d like to apply to a school outside of your zone, apply between April 7 and 16.

Above all, if you have questions, ask a teacher, a principal, or someone in our Student Assignment office. We share your concern for your child, and we’ll do everything we can to make the start of school a smooth one.

Other helpful links:
School addresses and phone numbers:
Maps of Elementary School Districts:
Determining if your child is eligible to enroll in Kindergarten early (i.e., if he/she won’t turn 5 until after Aug. 31):

Randolph County Schools

At this time, Randolph County was not able to provide a blog for us, but they invite parents to visit the District Website. If you scroll to the bottom of the home page you will find info for Kindergarten registration. This is the direct link to that page

Still have questions or comments? Feel free to add your thoughts below!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Smarty Alert: Our Summer Camp Directory is on its way!

By Rachel H

As the month of February approaches, we think of Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day, and of course ... Summer Camps! Seriously, summer camps are not the first thing on most people's minds in the middle of winter, but those of you who have registered children for camps in the past know that the time is quickly approaching...

Our TSP team is currently gathering Day Camp and Overnight Camp sponsors to feature on our Summer Camp Directory which will run for the next few months. Some of the camps are even offering a discount for TSP readers! If you know of a camp that you would like to see as part of our directory, email us at Keep an eye out for our Summer Camp Blog and Directory, which will be revealed on Thursday, February 18th!


Smarty Scoop on Weekend Events

By Guest Blogger Kari A and Katie M

It’s time to get ready for the Spring 2010 Children's Boutique Resale, Winston Salem's only boutique clothing consignment sale! The sale started a few years ago when Kari Allison, a local mom, thought she might earn a little more for her boutique clothing. Apparently, she wasn't the only one having these thoughts, and thus CBR was born. We are excited to feature this Smarty Sponsor today!

If you are a mom with that awesome combination of frugalista and fashionista, this bi-annual consignment phenomenon is for you! It’s all of the thrill, less of the hunt! And it's all fabulous! At the Children's Boutique Resale (CBR) you will find many wonderful boutique and designer brands of clothing. Your children can grow like fashionable little weeds without comprising the budget! Our motto is: Wear it. Love it. Pass it on!

For more information on CBR along with dates and times, keep reading!

We pride ourselves on making the consignment sale convenient and profitable for consignors. There are no registration fees, no shifts to work (unless desired) and you can shop early at our preview sale. Our goal is to serve you better each season, so with the new year comes growth and changes! We have modified our tagging and payment proccess and we have streamlined our checkout. No long lines!We are also very proud to support local mompreneurs. We have several vendors lined up for our spring sale. You won't want to miss the unique boutique products found here.

Whether you’re a shopper or a consigner, we encourage you to visit the website for more details. Below are dates and times:

Spring Sale
Friday, February 26th, 2010 - 9am until 2pm
Saturday, February 27th, 2010 - 9am until 2pm

Clothing Drop Off
Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 - 9 until 2pm and 4pm-7pm

Consignors Only Preview
Thursday, February 25th, 2010 - 6pm until 8pm

And for the rest of this week's smarty scoop, keep reading!

St. Francis Day School Open House
Wednesday, January 27 from 9:30- 11:30
3506 Lawndale Drive, GSO
Phone: 336-288-4740, Director: Rae Augustin
Be sure to check out what why this school is considered Smarty-Approved!

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Thursday-Saturday 8 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.
Twin City Stage, 610 Coliseum Drive, W-S
A musical comedy about six young people struggling with puberty in a spelling championship where the contestants learn that winning isn't everything and that losing doesn't necessarily make you a loser. Adults, $22; students, $18.

Half-Price Friday Nights
Friday, January 29 at 5-8 p.m.
Greensboro Children's Museum, 220 N. Church St., GSO
All families welcome for a night of fun at a discounted admission of $3.

Kids Krafters Club
Friday, January 29 from 3:30-4:45 p.m.
ArtQuest, Green Hill Center for NC Art, 200 N. Davie St., GSO
Twice-monthly workshops for kids who want to get crafty. For ages 7 and up. Registration required. Some workshops may require an additional materials fee. Members, $3; non-members, $5.

Multi-lingual Storytime
Friday, January 29 at 11 am
Children's Museum of Winston-Salem, 390 S. Liberty St., W-S
Learn about other cultures and listen to other languages in these storytimes. Presented by the Forsyth County Public Libraries. Free with museum admission, $7.

Legends in the Lodge
Saturday, January 30 from 7 - 9 pm
Piedmont Environmental Center, 1220 Penny Road, HP
Bring the family for storytelling time in the tipi at PEC. A storyteller will spin tales of Coyote, Grandfather Rock, Hero Twins and more. Special ceremonies and traditions will be shared and interpreted. Refreshments around the tipi campfire. Pre-registration required. Members, $4; non-members,$5.

NC High School Cheerleading State Championships
Saturday, January 30 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 2825 University Parkway, W-S
Adults, $10; students, $5; ages 5 and under, free.

Books Alive: Puzzled Penguin
Saturday, January 30 at 10:30 am
Lewisville Library, 6490 Shallowford Rd, Lewisville
Books come alive at the Lewisville Library the last Saturday of every month. Every session starts at 10:30 a.m. with a two minute actor's warm-up, followed by reading the selected book of the month, and then kids get on their feet and learn by doing. K - 3rd graders will enjoy this interactive program. Cost: FREE

The 3rd Annual Big Game Chili Cook-off
Saturday, January 30 at Noon
Whole Foods Market 41 Miller Street, Winston-Salem
At the Annual Chili Cook-off each department teams up to create an all-natural, champion chili and the customers are the judges. The winning department receives a trophy, bragging rights for the entire year and their prized chili to be sold at the hot soup bar. Customers who cast their vote for their favorite recipe will be entered for a chance to win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card*. Prizes will also be awarded for the correct answers to the Big Game (Super Bowl) Trivia. Wear the football jersey of your favorite team, get some great ideas for the Big Game, and share in the fun festivities. *Please visit Customer Service, the day of the event, for the official rules and conditions of The 3rd Annual Big Game Chili Cook-off. Cost: FREE

Lincoln Financial ArtQuest Community Arts Sundays
Sunday, January 31 from 3 - 5 pm
ArtQuest, Green Hill Center for N.C. Art, 200 N. Davie St., GSO
Each month on designated Sundays, ArtQuest features arts and crafts activities of cultures from around the world. A hands-on art gallery. Members, free; non-members, $2.50.

Burkhead Preschool Open House
Monday, February 1 from 6 - 7 pm
Burkhead Preschool, 5250 Silas Creek Pkway, W-S
Are you or someone you know looking for just the right preschool? Come check out Burkhead Preschool's Open House. There will be childcare and a light supper provided during this open house event. And see why this school is considered Smarty-Approved! For more information about our preschool and our open house click the web site link above, and then click on the “application” button to find the information about the Open House. The preschool asks that you help in planning by calling or emailing ahead to let them know you are coming. Phone: 765-6590. Email:

Open House at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School
Tuesday, February 2 from 9 am to 12 pm.
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School, 1730 Link Road, W-S
Our Lady of Mercy is SACS accredited and enrollment is available for grades Pre-K to 8 for the 2010/2011 school year. Come visit a school with over 50 years of academic excellence. The exceptional faculty is dedicated to helping children reach their highest potential with exemplary achievements through balanced curriculum in academics, national test scores, athletics, extra curricular activities, community service, art, and music. Call 722-7204 for a student led tour available by appointment throughout the school year. And see why this school is considered Smarty-Approved!

Forget Me Not Photography's Cutest Kid Contest
We want to celebrate our success, and more importantly its time for us to give back!!! With the success of the studio, and now the launch of Forget Me Not Boutique (officially opening at the beginning of March), we want to do something to say thank you! We are ready, and now able to give back to our community and have chosen a very special way to do that. We are hosting a cutest kid contest and donating 100% (yes that's right!) of the session proceeds for this contest to the FSNCC. What is the FSNCC? An awesome children's charity, located right here in the Triad! The Family Support Network of Central Carolina is an organization which serves families whose children have special needs or who are born prematurely. For more details on this contest that runs through the month of February, click here.

What did we forget? Add your event below!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Smarty Alert: Three days left to register for a free night away at the O.Henry hotel!

By Rachel H

On Friday, we will choose a random winner to receive a free night's stay at the elegant O.Henry Hotel in Greensboro! If you missed our blog about this, here are the details:

All you have to do is invite 10 friends to join our Facebook Fan Page to get your name thrown in the hat for this prize. Email us at and send us the ten names of the friends who you invited. We'll then put your name in the hat to win this wonderful getaway! AND even better ... for every additional ten names you send us you will get another entry! So, invite 100 friends to join our Fan Page and you will get ten entries. Just be sure to send us an email that lists all the people you invited...

Everyone you invite must live in the Triad area. Finally, be sure you are inviting people to join the correct page - we have two TSP Facebook pages. One is a friend page, and the other one is our new Fan Page, which is listed as The Official Triad Smarty Pants Page. Click here to get to our Fan Page and invite friends to join!

We will contact our winner on Friday and announce the winner Sunday afternoon! Best of luck!


Little Hands Helping Haiti

By Rachel H

When an event such as the earthquake in Haiti hits the news, hearts are touched and people want to do all they can to help. It is a perfect time to teach your children sympathy, generosity, and thoughtfulness. We wanted to highlight some of the things that children are doing around the Triad to help raise funds for Haiti, but also to give you inspiration to do things like this with your children all year round. Whether you raise money for a family whose home was recently burned to the ground, or help out a family whose parents are out of work, or collect funds for a child overseas, all of these things will build an awareness in your child that will last for years.

I am excited to share with you how little hands in the Triad are making a big difference for many others in Haiti ...

Laura Ellison's oldest son, Sam, was inspired by a clip that ran on ABC News featuring Laura's former boss and friend, Miles Wright. Miles was making a rescue trip to Haiti, and the Ellisons had been praying for his safety and for his friend he was going to help. Sam had plenty of questions and seemed to be very worried.

So, the next day they made some signs and sat outside their home in Greensboro for two hours in the sunshine with some lemonade and limeade. Laura told Sam that she and her husband would triple any amount that was raised. The day of the lemonade stand, Sam made $95, and that total is now $105. He really wanted to stick us with a big bill and we were happy to triple any amount he made! All the money went to Hearts with Haiti, the organization that Bill Nathan runs. Laura says, "Sam is a great kid, but I honestly was very impressed with how seriously he took this. He said that it really made him feel good to do something for someone else."

Martha Chamberlin, a teacher at Knollwood Baptist Preschool in Winston remembers a student coming to school last week and asking, "Did you know there was another earthquake in Haiti?" as he described the tremor or aftershock of the earthquake in Haiti. Even the youngest children in the school were aware of this tragic event. The school decided to send letters home to parents and each classroom kept a collection bag outside their classroom door.

As students walked down the hall and saw each bag, a discussion was stimulated. They asked questions such as, "Why do the bags have a picture of a medical kit?" and "What are they going to do with the supplies we collect?"
This obviously transgressed into a heartfelt discussion and what the children could do to help. You can tell by the smiles on their faces in the photos that they were glad that they were doing something good. They helped load up all the goods collected on Friday and felt terrific that their little hands had contributed to helping someone in need.

The fifth graders at Meadowlark Elementary in Winston Salem decided they wanted to raise money for Haiti. One of their teachers, Martha Bethel, came up with the idea of a "Yard Sale" where the students would go home and find items that they could sell. She had introduced this idea a few years ago after Hurricane Katrina, and thought it would be the perfect time to do something like this again. The students found and priced their own items and brought them to school on Friday for the "in-school yard sale." Each grade level, K-5, was invited to stroll through the classrooms to shop. Each student had their own "store" on their desk displaying the items they had for sale.

Needless to say, the shoppers had a blast, and by the end of the day, the fifth graders had become fabulous salespeople! How could you turn them down when the money was going to help people in Haiti?
This idea was fabulous for so many reasons. Not only were students raising money, but they went through their own things and decided what they would give up in order to help raise money for someone else. Their hard work through this entire process helped them to feel so confident in their ability to help others. By the end of the yard sale, the fifth graders had sold $2635.00 worth of toys, books, and stuffed animals!

Have your children or has someone you know gone the extra mile to help someone in need? Please share your story with us below!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Discover Burkhead United Methodist Church Preschool

By Guest Blogger Sue Ellen Bennett

Are you or someone you know looking for just the right preschool? Come check out Burkhead Preschool on Feb. 1 from 6:00 P.M. -7:00 P.M. My youngest son’s preschool is hosting an Open House for families looking to find the perfect fit for their child. There will be childcare and a light supper provided during this open house event.

I am a mother of three boys, ages 3, 6 and 12. My youngest son has been attending Burkhead since he was a toddler, and is currently in the three year old class. My Kindergartner attended Burkhead from age 3-Readiness. I can’t say enough wonderful words about Burkhead Preschool. If I were limited to just a few words to describe our school and our experience they would be joyful, happy, fun, warm, lots of learning, creative, nurturing and loving...

There are many things that drew me to Burkhead Preschool. Top on my list was the fact that there is virtually no teacher turnover and the families that enroll their children stay. My children have, and are still, creating amazing relationships with other children that will last a lifetime. As a mom and a former educator of young children, I was able to evaluate the school from two different angles. What I see as a mom is the loving and nurturing piece that I find so important. As an educator I am very impressed with the quality and experience of the teachers at the school, as well as the developmental, hands on approach to learning in a safe and loving Christian environment.

Another fantastic feature is the small number of children in each class. The smaller numbers allow each teacher to genuinely nurture, teach and love each child. My kindergartner was in a class of 7 for his Readiness experience! As a former kindergarten teacher I do not believe you can get much better than that! I say to myself often,“What’s the point of Readiness if there are 15-20 children in the class?” With smaller numbers, it is truly a readiness program with substance and focus. By the way, our readiness teacher has 17 years of experience!! In fact, the 12 staff members have a combined 109 years of teaching experience.

Due to an overwhelming demand for another preschool in the Sherwood Forest area, several preschool teachers and a preschool director pulled together, enlisting the help of Burkhead United Methodist Church to build this extraordinary and very special program. Burkhead United Methodist Church,, has been so welcoming to our children and their families. The church has been very generous in providing a safe, clean, loving and Christian environment to house our preschool. Burkhead United Methodist Church has made a commitment to serve young children and their families in our community. Their commitment to our preschool is evidenced in their continual financial and personnel support.

Burkhead preschool opened its doors in the fall of 2006 with classes starting at age 12 months through readiness. It is open 5 days a week from 8:50-12:00 with early care and lunch bunch offered. There are various class options for each age. The great thing about their offerings is that if the printed schedule does not fit your needs the director will work with the families to make a better fit. The willingness and desire to be as flexible as possible to meet the needs of each family is absolutely terrific.

In addition to the outstanding staff, the preschool offers Stretch-n-Grow, Fabulously Fun Fitness for Kids!, Creature Teacher, Inc and a weekly music program. The four and five year olds have chapel once a month with the minister of the church, Kathie Sherrill. You can go to their website to get more specifics about the schedule, class offerings, tuition and more.

Burkhead has an excellent, safe, fenced in playground. If it is raining the children are able to use the large fellowship hall to run, play and ride indoor riding toys. It is definitely a plus to have both an indoor and outdoor active play area that is safe and that provides toys and materials for free play. All toys and materials in the school are age-appropriate, and you will always find that children are actively engaged in work or play.

I just love the location! The school is located at 5250 Silas Creek Parkway on the northwest corner of Silas Creek Parkway and Pensby Road, in old Sherwood Forest, between Robinhood and Yorkshire. The entrance is on Pensby Road. It is easy to access the school from all areas of town. After drop off, I can get right on Silas Creek and easily access I40 to get to the Y on time for that most important exercise class. Or, I can stop at the grocery, bank or pharmacy on Robinhood Rd. without feeling like I am back-tracking. Even better I can get to preschool for pick up quickly via Silas Creek if I am at the mall, Target or a doctor’s appointment. What is really nice for the families that have older siblings at Sherwood Forest Elementary is the close proximity to the Preschool. Parents can drop off their child and head to the Elementary school to volunteer or have lunch with their child and know they are not too far away to be on time for pick up.

When starting preschool each year there is always angst on both the parent’s and child’s part. I love the fact that Burkhead provides an opportunity each fall to meet and greet the teacher prior to the first day of school. The children and their families come to school at an appointed time to meet one-on-one with their child’s teacher, see the classroom and the school. The children are able to explore the classroom and be introduced to their teacher. This is a magnificent opportunity for the parents to give information about their child that would not normally be on a registration form. It also provides superb insight for the teacher as she begins the beautiful journey of teaching that particular child. The teachers take this opportunity to listen, answer questions and provide information about the program and expectations. The meet and greet truly makes the first day and the transition easier for both parent and child.

Later in the year there is also an opportunity to meet with the teacher again to conference, one-on-one, about your child’s progress. However, the teachers are always available, easily accessible and eager to meet with you at any point during the school year at your request.

Here are just a few testimonials from former and existing families at Burkhead United Methodist Church Preschool.

“My son had a wonderful preschool experience at Burkhead. The small class sizes allowed him to receive a lot of attention from the teachers. Linda, the preschool director, was always at the front door greeting the children as they arrived at school each day. It was very obvious how much the staff cared for the students. “ Becky DeBruhl

“When our son was diagnosed with Autism, the staff, families, and students at Burkhead were so wonderful! We have had their support every step of the way. We send both of our children there, and they love it!” Wendy Milner

“The class sizes were a selling point for me. The one-on-one personal attention that was given to my children was immeasurable.” Michelle McAdams

“Burkhead Preschool is a wonderful place for children to attend preschool! From the excellent teachers and staff, to the facilities and warm friendly environment, my children could not have been happier and more loved!” Debbie Burns

“I feel blessed to have found Burkhead Methodist Preschool. The dedicated teachers always go the extra mile to ensure a nurturing, creative, and positive learning environment. My son loves the unique crafts, outdoor playtime, storytime, music classes, visits from the Creature Teacher, and participating in the Stretch and Grow fitness program. I am truly grateful for the love and caring they have shown my children.” Gabby Greenwood

“I cannot say enough about Burkhead UMC preschool. As a two-time parent at the school, I sing its praises every chance I get. The students get such great individual attention. The teachers are more than qualified, bringing creativity and experience to their classrooms. My children have enjoyed every minute they have spent at Burkhead. Burkhead UMC Preschool is a happy place.” Leigh Munley

I encourage anyone interested in finding just the right preschool to come to our Open House on Feb. 1. Burkhead will be providing a light supper and childcare. For more information about our preschool and our open house visit our website at Click on the “application” button to find the information about the Open House. The preschool asks that you help in planning by calling or emailing ahead to let them know you are coming. 765-6590

Preschool registration is just around the corner, beginning Feb. 22, so come take a peak on February 1!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Am I Crazy?

By Guest Blogger Gray S. Moulton, MA, LMFT

I was sitting at work, reading my personal e-mails (LOL), when I received an invitation to write an article about popular issues I encounter in my work as a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT). At first I thought, “What in the world do I write?” and then, “How do I condense it all into 600-900 words?” Here it goes!

Clients always ask me, “Am I crazy?” I chuckle (to myself, of course) and ask questions. Do you have an audience almost every time you go to the bathroom? Is going to the grocery store alone your idea of a good time? Is sex the last thing on your mind? Of course you aren’t crazy – you’re a parent! As a therapist (and a mom to “almost four-year-old”, Isobella) I know that there isn’t enough time in the day for parents to do what needs to be done to succeed in life, much less succeed in cooking a decent dinner that night. Couple the lack of time parents have with other stressors such as relationships, jobs, parents/in-laws or dramas with friends, and one can see quickly where thoughts of being crazy stem.

So exactly how do we maintain some sense of normalness when everything feels so crazy? When I know for sure, I promise to spread the wealth. For now, though, I encourage my clients to stop for a minute and take a deep breath. Really – this helps to get oxygen to your brain, which in turn helps to settle anxieties. Next, consider that normal is truly the definition that you apply to the word. One person may think that toting 3 kids to appointments while grocery shopping is torture, whereas another person may feel that the chance to tote children around, in itself, is a blessing. Realizing that we give meaning to thoughts, ideas and emotions is a big step. Once realized, we then find out that we also have the ability to change those meanings.

It’s a strange thought, I know, but practice it – think about something that has been nagging you today. Me, my house needs to be cleaned, there are dishes on the counter and clothes in the washer. This is a disaster. I take a deep breath (and another because it sometimes takes more than one for me). Then I realize that I can change the meaning behind my thoughts. Is this really a disaster? My mother would think so, I feel certain. I, though, am not my mother. So who is my messy house bothering? Really – just me. Why? Because of my mother’s definition of cleanliness.

When I put my own thoughts to it I can come up with such different meanings. The dishes signify that I actually had food to eat with my family last night and that I spent time doing something else (playing CandyLand and looking for lost markers) instead of washing dishes. The house is dirty. Yes, but it was also vibrant with the laughter of friends and family during the holidays. The clothes are still in the washer – fantastic, that means that I got something new to wear for Christmas and don’t really need what is in the washer. Wow – when I look at the “disaster” with new meanings – the context completely changes. It’s amazing how we can create differences in our daily lives just by changing the way we think about things. Sometimes a tiny change can make such a huge difference.

At the start of the New Year, most folks make resolutions. I’d like to encourage you to think about your definitions and/or meanings to your thoughts. I’ll help out. Think about the words RIGHT & WRONG. What are the definitions? What do they mean to you? I tend to think that there really isn’t a right or wrong way (unless relating to morals). Instead of stating that something is right or wrong, which implies negative feelings, I think that there are just DIFFERENCES in OPINIONS. My mom taught me to fold towels one way. My husband’s mom taught him a different way. We argue over something this silly because we both think we are right and the other is wrong. Changing my thought processes has allowed me to see that neither of us is right or wrong, we just do things differently and differ in opinion on how it’s done. And you know what, that’s okay.

Gray S. Moulton, MA, LMFT – BA in Psychology with a Minor in Human Development from UNC-Greensboro. She holds an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Appalachian State. Gray worked three years for the state prior to working 10 years in a private, non-profit counseling agency. Currently, she works full time for Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance, LLC and has a small part-time private practice in Winston Salem. She has been married 11 years to Michael with one child, Isobella (soon to be 4).


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Smarty Mom: Patrice Williams

By Rachel H

Today’s Smarty Mom is one whose life took a turn she never would have expected when she gave birth to her son, Jonah. Patrice was a high school Spanish Teacher who now dedicates all of her time to raising her son, who is now almost 11 months old.

Patrice grew up in Lewisville, NC and moved to Kernersville after getting married. She and her husband, Matt, endured much grief when they gave birth to a stillborn baby, Gabriel, on April 22, 2008. Less than a year later, Jonah was born. He was born with a rare genetic skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa. Basically, he's missing the proteins that anchor his skin to itself. Any rubbing or friction to his skin (wiping him with a wash cloth, picking him up under his arms, seams from clothing, etc.) cause him to form large blisters (they can be as big as lemons) on his skin. Eventually the skin sloughs off leaving wounds similar to second degree burns. Jonah has to stay bandaged from his neck down.

Patrice and Matt now suspect that their first child, Gabriel, had the same disorder. Patrice describes every day as a “beautiful challenge, but we are so thankful for Jonah and he is absolutely PERFECT to us.”

I would love to share more with you about the Williams family …

You have started a blog called The Williams Family Blog, which has attracted loyal readers from all over who are following Jonah’s story. What inspired you to start this blog?
I started the blog right before Gabe was born, basically just to journal his life and share photos with family and friends. Little did I know that two posts later, I would be blogging about his death. I maybe had ten to twenty readers from March of 08 to February of 09, but the blog blew up within 24 hours of Jonah’s birth. Between word of mouth, prayer requests posted by some very widely-read bloggers, and EB folks having set their Google alerts, all of a sudden I was getting 60 to 100 comments per post. Crazy!

You are very upbeat in so many of your blog postings and seem to take every challenge as a blessing. How are you able to stay so optimistic?
It’s all an illusion. :) No, really, I’m not always upbeat, although I guess, with Jonah, I just try to view every day as a gift and attempt to really appreciate my time with him, no matter how tough some days may be. Honestly though, I am not optimistic all the time, and I do attempt to blog the low moments too. God has truly blessed us with more up than down, so HE is the reason I can have so many “up” posts.

What is your biggest challenge in your day-to-day life?
Our biggest challenge with Jonah has been constant eating issues. We are in a good phase right now, but we have been on the verge of a g-tube several times. He still refuses to eat solids, so it is a constant battle. He also struggles with severe acid reflux and projectile four to six ounce spit-ups. I can handle the blistering and bandage changes, but it’s the “basic” stuff that he struggles with that really gets to me. When I get low, all I can think is, “He can’t even eat. He has to deal with all this other crap, and he can’t even eat.” But then I snap out of it, and he snaps out of it, and we get pulled out of the pit yet again.

Tell us about the auction coming up that will be held in Jonah's honor.
This will be held in honor of Jonah's first birthday. It will be held the five days leading up to his birthday (Feb 27th) at All proceeds will go to DebRA (Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America) for research (we need a cure!) and family advocacy. Each item will be its own post and people will be able to bid in the comments of each item. LOTS of good stuff and good fun for a good cause.

Are you able to take Jonah out and about much?
More and more every day (Thank God!). As he gets older, he’s “gushing” less, eating more at a time (so we have bigger windows of time), and is much more content. I’m so thankful as there are many days it feels the walls are closing in.

What is your favorite thing about Jonah?
This is a really hard question to answer. He is such an amazing kid. He is so strong and resilient, and if you couldn’t see the blisters and bandages, you would never know there is anything wrong. He’s so happy and beautiful. Okay, I’ll stop gushing now.

Now on to the easy questions …

What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
We are pretty low-key, but I’d say our favorite family outing is going to church at Pinedale Christian. Family outings are few and far between (besides running errands), and we’ve had to miss a lot of church this past year, but we LOVE the Sundays we get to worship with our church family.

What is your favorite “me-time” activity?
It used to be reading, but now I’d have to say sleeping. I’m just so tired, and nothing is better to me than Matt looking after Jonah on a weekend afternoon so I can take a two hour nap. I also like to blog and am trying to teach myself (unsuccessfully) to take and edit photos.

Favorite place to eat dinner as a family?
We really like Moe’s. It’s quick, fresh, and Jonah friendly. If we get brave enough to go to a sit-down kind of a place, we enjoy El Maguey in Walkertown and my friend Gina’s new café, Miller’s on Main for lunch on the weekends. And I could never say enough good things about Chick-fil-A. (I’m sorry I’m not really good at picking just ONE of anything.)

Favorite date night spot?
We don’t really get to go on dates much, but Matt loves to go to the movies (woohoo Kernersville $3 theater) and we also go to as many Wake basketball games as we can (which has not been very many this year). And I love to eat, anywhere really. We recently went to Sweet Potatoes downtown, and I thought it was amazing.

Favorite book you have read?
I really loved Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I typically do not like non-fiction, but it was laugh out loud funny and just gave a whole new perspective on “religion” and what a relationship with God really means. It was an easy read and really thought provoking at the same time.

Favorite park in the Triad?
I really like Tanglewood, but since we live in Kernersville, Fourth of July Park is probably my favorite on this side of town.

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
There is so much to do here. It’s a great combination of small town and big city. I like that we have access to the mall and Target and downtown, but if someday we want to have a house with lots of land, we can. It’s a big city that still has trees. Hard to find.

I could not live without my...

Patrice, thank you so much for being so open with us today and sharing your amazing story about your precious little boy. We wish you and your family all the best and look forward to following your journey on your blog.

If you know a Smarty Mom or Dad , you can nominate her/him by sending us an email at


Friday, January 22, 2010

Smarty Approved Preschools

By Katie M

Wow! We smarties love our preschools! Thank you so much for all the wonderful nominations! We recently did a call-out to all our readers to submit their favorite preschools and to tell us why they love them. The response was incredible! With preschool registration just around the corner, this makes for a great blog. If you are a parent looking for a preschool in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, or High Point, check this list before you do any other research. Every school below comes with high ranks from our readers making them "smarty-approved."

We will keep this information archived on our site indefinitely under the "Preschool" category on the left-side of our page. Feel free to add any other nominations below in our comment section. And, if by chance, any information below is inaccurate, please email us here immediately so we can correct it.

Thanks again, loyal readers! In no particular order, the nominations for "smarty approved" preschools are...


The Early Childhood Center
I love the Early Childhood Center ("ECC" as it is known around town) for several reasons: First and foremost, the center is consistently rated a 5-star center! The teachers and administrators are kind and loving with the children and prepare them well for entry into kindergarten. They follow the "Conscious Discipline" model of handling behavior. I am constantly impressed with the way they lead and manage the children. I have learned a lot from them - especially when I had a two-year-old on my hands! The center is open year-round and offers half-day, full-day, and after-school programs. This is very convenient, as it provides flexibility for parents whose schedules may be changing. The center is affiliated with West Market Street United Methodist Church, though the preschool is managed as a separate non-profit entity. Essentially, this means that children are in a loving Christian environment overseen by a church that wants to offer quality childcare in downtown Greensboro. - Leslie M.
312 West Friendly Avenue, 27401
(336) 378-6093

Our Children's House Preschool
We love Our Children's House Preschool in Greensboro because the philosophy there is so child centered and a follows multi-age concept, that it feels like the children are in their "home away from home"! - Kim M.
1105 Magnolia Street
Greensboro, NC 27401-1425
(336) 272-8882

Weekday Preschool Center at First Presybterian Church
We LOVE the Weekday Preschool Center at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro. They have a wonderful director, and caring, educated, experienced teachers who provide fun, developmentally appropriate learning experiences in a warm & happy environment. Chapel, Kindermusik, an art teacher & art room, and visits to the church's children's library are all part of the program. They constantly strive to be the best they can be for our children. - Jennifer K
617 N. Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
(336) 478-4771

Starmount Presbyterian Church Preschool
Both my kids have loved attending Starmount Preschool. Every teacher is so warm and loving! My 1st grader still talks fondly about "her old school" and my three year old asks every morning, "I get to go to school today, Mom?" - Emily H.
3501 W. Market St.
Greensboro, NC 27403
(336) 299-3564

St. Francis Day School
My children (3 yo and 20 mos) attend St. Francis Day School, and we have been so thrilled with the experience. The teachers are wonderful and caring, and my daughter (3) especially loves art classes with Ms. Sharon. The director, Rae Augustin, has done a fantastic job of creating a quality school experience to help them prepare for elementary school. - Lesley C (Additional nominations came from Kathleen I and Midge S)
3506 Lawndale Drive
Greensboro, NC 27408-2839
(336) 288-4740

Centenary Weekday School
Centenary Weekday School is cozy program that offers children a wonderful environment to grow, learn,sing, play and make friends. The caring, experienced staff foster children's imaginations and also have them well-prepared for starting elementary school. – Laura E
2300 W. Friendly Ave
Greensboro, North Carolina 27403
Please Debbie Robinson, Director at (336) 292-7515 for further information.

The Early Childhood Engagement Center of Temple Emanuel
Greensboro, NC
This is a new pre-school that offers a Reggio Emilia inspired program for children ages 2 – 5. We are currently enrolling children in three and five day programs for the fall. For more information, please contact Louise Van Schaack @ 292-7899 or


Reynolda Presbyterian Preschool
I cannot say enough about Reynolda Presbyterian Pre School. I have had 4 children attend and wouldn't trade those memories for anything. The school has a warm loving enviroment which is top on my list. My children go on a regular Tuesday/ Thursday schedule, but they offer the flexibilty if there is available room in the class, to do drop off on other days and pay a daily fee. The director, Emily Wagner is top notch and the teachers are the best. The thing I love most about Reynolda is the Biblically based curriculum. My daughters are coming home with a new verse a month, pledge of allegience, learning to write their name.. i could go on and on!! – Beth W (Additional nominations came from Laura B, Tara B, and Molly K)
2200 Reynolda Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
(336) 723-0716

Burkhead United Methodist Church Preschool
Burkhead United Methodist Church Preschool is a well kept secret located at Silas Creek and Pensby in Sherwood Forest, right beside Epiphany. My 2 youngest sons attended and still attend this warm, caring, fun, loving and developmentally appropriate preschool for ages 12 months- Readiness. The teachers are fun, warm and loving. There are always sounds of laughter and joy and colorful art displays as you walk the hall. Although the rooms may be small the learning is BIG! The smaller class sizes (number of children in a class) are a plus too. - Sue Ellen B (Additional nomination by Leigh S) Burkhead is also a Smarty Sponsor! Read more about this wonderful school here.
5250 Silas Creek Pkway
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
(336) 765-6590

Clemmons Moravian Preschool
My son attends Clemmons Moravian Preschool. I truly believe you cannot appreciate the greatness of the school during a tour. This year is a transition year for the school; their "normal" building has been torn down and is being renovated, and this year classes are being held at Centenary United Methodist Church, a few miles from the original site. All the teachers participate in the drop-off/pick-up process; they all know my son by name and tell him they've missed seeing his face in the hallway if he's been sick (It is not a small operation, either. There is more than one class of MMO, 2s, 3s, and 4s, as well as one readiness class. That's a lot of kids to know!). The director, Edna Harding, is fabulous and knows all the students and their parents by name. My son has had excellent teachers his two years at the school. His teachers went above and beyond this holiday season: due to the current facility, the school could not hold it's annual Christmas program. They made the parents a video of each child talking about the holidays, classroom time, and music class. It is an instant keepsake we will always treasure. - Sara M
PO Box 730
Clemmons, NC 27012
Regular Location:
3560 Spangenberg Ave
Clemmons, NC 27012
Current Location:
5280 Hampton Road
Clemmons, NC 27012
(336) 766-4460

Clemmons First Baptist Preschool
Clemmons First Baptist Preschool has some caring, wonderful, and smart teachers that work with your child. Along with fun activities, learning, and teaching good morals and values, my kids have benefitted well. It has a low student teacher ratio. It's also very reasonably priced. It has the option of 1,2,or 3 days for toddlers(2), and 3 day 3's, 4 year olds along with a 4 day 4's, and a 4 day readiness class. My daughter started kindergarten this year after completing the 3 day 4's class and was ahead of the game when she entered school. She still has the craving to learn and has done extremely well. My son is in the 3 day 3's and loves learning, and playing with his friends. He looks forward to going to school. I will miss this school when my son finishes. I have truely enjoyed watching my kids grow in their experiences at CLEMMONS FIRST BAPTIST PRESCHOOL. – Anonymous
3530 Clemmons Road
Clemmons, NC 27012-8726
(336) 766-1335

New Philadelphia Moravian Preschool
I love this preschool. This is my daughter's third year and we have been very pleased throughout our experience. Their class ages range from infants 3 months and up and span up to a kindergarten readiness class. I love the fact that all the teachers and administrative staff are great, they have a drop off and pick up line so you have to walk in, the playground is shady and the children get regular exposure to exercise, art, spanish and music. - Kim C (Additional nominations came from Marybeth B, Angela Smith, and Beth)
4440 Country Club Road
Winston Salem, NC 27104
(336) 768-4844

Little Stars Preschool
Little Stars preschool is my daughters' home away from home. They adore their teachers and receive love and structured learning each and every day. Since starting there, my girls have taken great strides in their independence. I especially appreciate how the teachers emphasize Christ in everything they do. Any child who is fortunate to be part of the "Little Stars family" is blessed indeed!!! –Jenna G
1355 Jonestown Rd.
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336) 306-5475

Mt. Tabor United Methodist Preschool
Our daughter has gone to Mt. Tabor for 4 years. We actually moved her this year to another Preschool so she would be attending Kindergarten with some friends from the new Preschool but after two months moved her back to Mt. Tabor. There was no comparison to how Mt. Tabor loves, disciplines, teaches - academically & Biblically the children. You can see everyday what the children are learning and how happy they are. The director & staff are outstanding and they know all of the students by name. I could go on & on about how great this school is... – J, T & E.C (Additional nominations came from Holly H, and Cynthia W)
3542 Robinhood Rd
Winston Salem, NC 27106
(336) 760-2326

Messiah Moravian Preschool
Messiah Moravian Preschool is a close knit community of families. The teachers are loving and truly care about the child. Not just their development but their hearts as well. It is a safe and nurturing Christian environment where I happily drop off my 5 year old twins four days a week. The staff is committed to growing each child individually into the person God is creating them to be. The school has a music program, creature teacher, spanish and stretch n grow each month. We are blessed to have an active family group, called FAM, that organizes activities such as Fall Carnival, Breakfast with Santa, Easter Egg Hunt, Cookie Swaps, and more. At Christmastime the children participate in the Moravian tradition of a lovefeast with the Messiah Moravian congregation. Classes begin at 12 months to readiness classes. The school will be hosting informational sessions on January 20,27 at 10am and February 10,17 at 10am. Registration for new families will begin March 1. We love our preschool family and know our children are learning and growing into wonderful little people! - Sally T (Additional nomination came from Becky J)
1401 N. Peace Haven Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
(336) 765-5652
Email address is

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School
Our Lady of Mercy PreK is a fantastic place where children learn and grow in a loving and supportive environment. Mrs. Cancro builds a unique bond with each child and teaches them to be better listeners, good citizens, caring friends, and still manages to prepare them for Kindergarten! Children learn colors, counting, letter recognition, letter formation, and letter-sound associations through a variety of hands-on experiences. At Our Lady of Mercy, you are family and you feel the genuine warmth and compassion from all the staff. I have 2 children at the school and have been there for 3 years. I truly cannot wait to send my last 2 children for this wonderful experience. – Rebecca S
1730 Link Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336) 722-7204

Montessori School of Winston-Salem
I am a mother of 2 year old twins and my kids attend the Montessori School of Winston-Salem (though it is located in Clemmons). They started here at 18 months of age and I cannot say enough wonderful things about the school! All of the wonderful things that I cherish about the school are as a result of the Montessori philosophy of education, which emphasizes each child having freedom to explore ideas and concepts that are of most interest to them. Montessori also emphasizes teaching children in such a way that they can become part of the environment that surrounds them. An example of this is seen in the preschool classrooms in which many of the activities provided include sweeping the floors, cleaning the windows, pouring beans into containers, crumbing the tables, etc. While as I wrote these things I automatically thought that I am making the school sound like a school to turn children into houseworkers, but it’s not at all like that. If any of you have toddlers or remember what toddlers are like, they absolutely LOVE to participate in the activities that they see the adults doing in the house. Also, activities such as pouring beans and crumbing tables develop hand and eye coordination that so many additional skills will build upon as the children age. What you won’t see in Montessori classrooms are electronic toys that light up and give feedback to the child following every button press. Instead the kids learn how to complete tasks through trial and error and feedback experienced by themselves and given by the teachers. The facilities are wonderful and new, plenty of outdoor space for the kids to run and explore in, and the teachers there are just fantastic! Plus, there are multiple hand washing sinks in each classroom at the exact height for a toddler, which I mention because I credit this for keeping our kids healthy this year. Since we have begun school there (Aug. 2009), we haven’t made a single sick visit to the doctor or missed one day of school because of illness! Erin S, Ph. D.
6050 Holder Road
Clemmons, NC 27012
(336) 766-5550

Knollwood Baptist Preschool
Knollwood Baptist Preschool is a fantastic Preschool! My first son went all the way through and my second son is halfway through. The teachers are all wonderful and truly care about the kids. It's a wonderful place for fun and learning!! - Laura S
(Additional nominations came from Kelly G and Ashleigh P)
330 Knollwood Street
Winston Salem, NC 27104-4198
(336) 724-6676

Maple Springs Preschool
Maple Springs Preschool at Maple Springs UMC is awesome! As a new mom, I was worried about taking my son to a preschool but I have had no concerns about him while he is at Maple Springs. The entire school has a very nurturing atmosphere. The teachers are wonderful - very competent and so loving! The individual classes (infants thru readiness) always seem to be doing a fun activity and the facility is top-notch. - Shannon H
2569 Reynolda Road
(336) 722-7563

The Special Children's School
The Special Children's School is an outstanding environment for ALL children. It's a inclusion program for children with special needs as well as children who are developing typically. My oldest 'graduated' almost 4 years ago and my youngest is currently enrolled. Not only are the children academically and socially prepared for kindergarten, but they are given the opportunity to live, love, and learn with children of all abilities-- as it should be! LOVE IT. - Chanel J (Additional nomination came from Sarah H)
4505 Shattalon Dr.
Winston Salem, NC 27106
(336) 924-9309

St. Paul’s Preschool
I'd like to nominate St Paul's Preschool as a Triad Smarty Pants approved school. I taught there for two years and have had my kids there for the past 4 years. It's an excellent school, in a beautiful building with huge sunny windows and wonderfully comfortable, fun-filled classrooms. It's run by an incredible director that puts the children first in everything she does. We've loved every minute at SPP and would recommend it to anyone and everyone! Thanks for the forum to recommend wonderful schools, there's no more important decision for a new mom than where to send your kids to preschool. I know I had to visit every school in Winston in order to decide! - Wendy R
520 Summit Street
Winston Salem, NC 27101-1195
(336) 723-4395

St. Leo’s Preschool
I currently have my second child at St. Leo's preschool. Mrs. Wilson is a fantastic teacher! She is always so happy and the children pick up her great enthusiasm. The philosophy of the program is based on developing positive self-concepts through a foundation of faith and the discovery of each child's special gifts and talents. Not only do they work on kindergarden readiness skills, but the children also bring home some amazing keepsake crafts. They receive a prayer partner from the "big school" who meets and plays with them on the playground throughout the school year. The children are exposed to Spanish, music and PE on the main campus of the school so transition to Kindergarden is a snap! - Leslie S
333 Springdale Avenue
(336) 748-8252

Pine Grove Weekday School
We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our boys' preschool!!! It's a church-related, morning-only program with the option for Lunch Bunch, They've both been there since they were in the PMO (Parents' Morning Out) room as infants, and one will graduate from there this May. The teachers there -- every one of them -- are kind, love on my boys as if they were their own, give them fantastic snuggles and hugs, correct them gently when necessary, and overall just have true hearts for the children. Extras like movement class, Spanish, and music are included in the tuition (not extra), so we don't have to try to decide if it fits our budget. It says a whole lot when your kids hear they are going to school in the morning and race to put their shoes and coats on, cheering all the way! – Kristin R
1130 Jonestown Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336) 765-4694
They do not have a web address

Ardmore Baptist Church Weekday Early Education Program
I can not say enough about my 2.5 year old daughters experience at Ardmore. The staff is creative, educational and bring so much joy to my little girl…she adores her teachers. In addition, it has one of the most sanitary environments and my child rarely has the “preschool sicknesses” I hear from other mothers. – Ashli N
501 Miller Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336) 725-8767

Centenary Child Care Center
I can’t say enough nice things about Centenary – they have great teachers and staff who are patient, kind and supportive – and who really love children. The place is spic and span – seriously so clean you could eat off the floors. And convenient – I pop in there from time to time to eat lunch with my kids. If you are looking for a full time day care look no further. Although I think they now offer ½ per-k. – Jennifer C
646 W 5th St
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
(336) 723-0189

First Baptist Church Children's Center
My husband and I both adore the pre-school our son attends - First Baptist Church Children's Center. This is the second daycare he's attended and they win hands down. Every single member of the staff is loving and knows him by name. They all were excited when he started walking into daycare and cheered him on. The school is so clean and they provide wonderful meals. They also work in conjunction with the church to provide parenting classes. I could go on forever about how wonderful they are. Everyone should be so blessed to have somewhere like FBCCC. - Mary H (Additional nomination came from Gray)
501 W. Fifth Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
(336) 723-7071
Director: Shawn Martin

St. John’s Lutheran School
Our 3 year old son is in preschool at St. John’s Lutheran School (preschool-8th grade). We (and he) love his preschool! The preschool and pre-K director, Brandi Lovejoy, is doing an outstanding job of running a high quality program. We have been impressed with so many things, but the director and staff are absolutely at the top of that list! There is always clear communication about what the children have done and will be doing. If any challenges arise, the lines of communication are always open and the staff wants to help you work through those challenges with your child. There is a very good balance of structured activities versus free play (a hot topic for many folks and I believe Dr. Satterwhite had a post on your blog about the value of play…a post that I loved), something that is so important developmentally. The Christ-centered education has been a true blessing for us as well.

The preschool and pre-K children each have a partner from an older grade (preschoolers get a 3rd grade partner). Each child sits with his/her partner at Chapel on Wednesdays. Additionally, they spend about an hour one day a week doing an activity (craft, game, etc.) with their partner. Our son loves to tell us all about what he did with his partner. It’s such a thrill for a 3 year old to know someone in the 3rd grade. I’ve seen my son’s partner in the hall occasionally and he always makes a point to acknowledge us. What a boost to the ego that is for a 3 year old!

St. John’s uses an online system called Fast Direct for communicating with parents. The system is great for communicating event information to a broad audience, send out reminders about needs for the Thanksgiving Feast of Christmas parties, etc. This has been a wonderful thing for us as we both work full-time. My husband typically drops our son off in the morning and I pick him up in the afternoon. I rarely cross paths with our son’s lead teacher since her day ends before I arrive at pickup. The Fast Direct system has been an asset in helping us to communicate. There have been a few questions I’ve had or things she noticed that we were able to communicate about through that system. There are parent-teacher conferences throughout the year and I certainly feel comfortable speaking with his teachers, but sometimes I have just a few questions and don’t need to ask face-to-face.

St. John’s offers great flexibility in terms of your child’s “day”. The tuition and hours are different depending on which type of “day” your child has (half-day, school-day, full-day). They do have a cafeteria and meals and snacks are included in tuition for those children whose “day” includes lunchtime and snack-time.

St. John’s is absolutely “smarty-approved” and deserves recognition! – April B
2415 Silas Creek Parkway
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336) 725-1652

Temple Emanuel Preschool
I have been with Temple Emanuel Preschool for 7 years (the last 3 years as a staff member). I initially chose the prechool because of the small classes and the educational philosphy of children learning through play. I have remained here because of the loving and caring environment for my children and the unexpected bonus of feeling that we've all gained a family, not just a preschool. – Laura C
201 Oakwood Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336) 722-6640

High Point

Child Enrichment at First United Methodist Church
My son is 6 months old and attends Child Enrichment at First United Methodist Church in High Point. This is actually where I went to preschool when I was a little one! Even though my son is young, he loves going to school and interacting with other children and the teachers for a few hours a week. They also do lots of things for parents to be involved with, for example, we had a Thanksgiving lunch where all the kids did a little program for the parents and grandparents and then the school cooked turkey and parents brought a side dish. They do lots of these activities throughout the year for parents to be involved with teachers and other parents. They also have a fire truck come and visit, as well as, a person that brings various animals throughout the year for the children to see and maybe interact with! - Ashley W
512 North Main Street
High Point, NC 27260-5086
(336) 889-3103
Director: Kim Myers

Laurel Oak Children's Center
Laurel Oak Children's Center: A wonderful daycare center that our son began attending when he was just 4 months old. It is a local family run center, and they also do an afterschool program at a neighboring church. We were happy with the childcare and the center has installed webcams you can access from your computer at work!!! I loved it! – Jayna P
1004 Old Plank Rd
High Point, NC 27265-9247
(336) 885-5622

Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church Through-the-Week School
I believe they are a half day program that accepts children as young as 6 weeks. I had looked into the program for my children, but because they were only a half day program it did not work for us. - Jayna P
1225 Chestnut Drive
High Point, NC 27262-4666
(336) 884-8067

We also received the following submission below, but did not receive an address or any other information - and could not find it online. Marcia or anyone who knows, please let us know where this school is located and its web address!

Rehobeth Preschool
I love the teachers and the school! My oldest went there and my youngest is in her last year. They are just a great group and the kids come out of there more than prepared for Kindergarden. - Marcia L