Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bluebird Patch TEENS "My Top 5 Reasons Why Should Should See the Lion King at The Fox Theatre"

Fact: "The Lion King" has been more profitable than all six "Star Wars" films combined. But at first, almost no one thought it would work.

Childhood memories. They are the beginning of our unique journey through life. Think back, what is your favorite childhood memory? Is watching the Lion King one of those memories? 

Well, if so then I got something for you! The Broadway musical the Lion King is here in Atlanta! This past weekend I got to experience something that I have never experienced before. 

These are my top 5 reasons of why you should go see Lion King the Musical at the Fox Theatre:

  1. It feels like the movie itself has come to life right in front of your eyes! Everything feels so real. The actors come down the aisles in their costumes and just dance and sing right in front of you!
  2. The costumes, carved masks and intricate makeup are beautiful and it really transport you to the gorgeous vistas of the African savanna.
  3. It brings back childhood memories. Like I said before, childhood memories are a big part of your life. The things that
    you should cherish and love all start with your childhood.
  4. It is family friendly and children will definitely enjoy it. Parents I highly recommend taking your children with you to see the show. It will give your child a fun brand new experience that he/she will have never seen before.
  5. The theme and moral of the story is something that every human being can relate. Life and all the changes we experience as we search for our place in life. The story teaches that no matter how much those changes may scare us, we can not run from our responsibilities forever. It is only by facing the past, ghosts and challenges and being brave that we may find true happiness. 

The Lion King takes center stage at the Fox Theatre on April 10 through 27, 2014. This three-week run of The Lion King in Atlanta is part of the Fifth Third Bank’s Broadway in Atlanta 2013-2014 series.  In Atlanta, THE LION KING will play Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. as well as matinees on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sundays at 1:00 p.m.  Premium Ticket Packages, which include a prime seat location, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available. Tickets are available at the Fox Theatre Box Office (660 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308), online at www.foxtheatre.org or by calling 1-855-ATL-TIXX. Orders for groups of twenty (20) or more may be placed by calling 404-881-2000.

Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta Seeks Local Children To Compete For A Spot On 2014 Special Panel


LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta is seeking a new team of Junior Construction Panel members for 2014. Joshua Bohn, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta’s master model builder, is looking for fellow creative minds to join his specialized team. Junior Construction Panel members will access to special events, provide insight on future events at the attraction and be part of a group of opinion-leaders who will lead LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta into the future.

We have had so much fun with our Junior Construction team,” said LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta master model builder Joshua Bohn. “Now we’re excited to recruit a brand new group of children to be a part of this special club and help us plan activities for the upcoming year. I’m looking for a team of talented and passionate young people to bring their creativity and innovative perspectives to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta experience.”

How to Apply for a Spot on the Junior Construction Panel

Better World Books Gifts Atlanta Community with 50,000 Books on April 19

KIPP STRIVE Academy and Better World Books co-host free book giveaway

ATLANTA (April 11, 2014) – To celebrate World Book Day and thank the community for its support, Better World Books will give away 50,000 children’s books to kids in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. The assets for this giveaway come from Better World Books’ Book for Book™ program, a philanthropic initiative that identifies communities in need and provides them with gently used, pre-loved books. Better World Books’ co-host, KIPP STRIVE Academy, is opening its doors to book lovers and beginning readers alike in the Atlanta area on April 19, encouraging families to come together to celebrate the importance of reading.

Better World Books tapped a student group from Emory’s Goizueta Business School to determine a location for this giveaway with the greatest impact potential – targeting areas with reading and literacy needs, as well as lower-income families with school-aged children. The group chose the Atlanta University Corridor (AUC), and solicited KIPP STRIVE Academy to serve as the event partner based on similar missions to educate and empower communities with little access to educational material.

We are so thrilled to co-host this 50,000 book giveaway event with Better World Books,” said Christy Harris, KIPP STRIVE Academy’s principal. “A donation of this magnitude will have such an impact on our local community, and we’re glad to open our doors for this event.”

Better World Books loves being part of this community, and it means a lot to us to be able to provide the books for this giveaway,” said John Ujda, Better World Books’ Chief Literacy Officer. “Making literacy and books accessible to all readers is the foundation of our company, and we’re thrilled that the Book for Book™ program is making an impact in our own backyard.” 

Book for Book™ by Better World Books from Better World Books on Vimeo.

Event details:
Date: Saturday, April 19, 2014
Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (or as long as the books last!)
Location: KIPP STRIVE Academy, 1444 Lucile Ave. SW, Atlanta, GA 30310
*Parking available in the lot surrounding the campus.

The Co-op: Successful Performers Through Creativity Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Creative Opportunities for Optimal Performance (CO-OP) a program to foster success through creative performance skills in youth.

Create It Theatre” is a program designed to teach children how to become successful performers in life through creative theatre. This year they are expanding their 10-week program to a nine month after school curriculum called “The CO-OP."  The CO-OP is Creative Opportunities for Optimal Performance where we designed “games” that will teach creativity, confidence, and promote success through performing arts.

The CO-OP is a creative theatre-based program that enables youth (ages 5-14) to create their own production through interactive stories and games. The youth creatively put together stories to make characters come alive. Because it is totally from their imagination and creativity, the youth can modify characters as the production goes along and add more of their own personality.
The CO-OP was inspired by the popular creative theatre program, used by hundreds of young people (ages 5 and up) around the world. In creating the CO-OP, they redesigned the creative process of the theatre program and added more language to make them developmentally appropriate for all ages, carefully designing creative games to match each age children’s cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development.
The Co-op has one rule which is to deliver excellence because anything less would be unacceptable and anything more would be unrealistic.

The Co-Op is currently doing a Kickstarter campaign to help them assist in raising capital to expand their Create It Theatre program to a 9 month after school curriculum. The purpose is to gain accreditation, building location, permits, licenses, and hire more instructors. We will have an entire building and program dedicated to training youth to be successful performers in life. To pledge this campaign please visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/603819633/the-co-op-successful-performers-through-creativity

Fifth Third Bank (Georgia) Partners with the Gwinnett Braves to Launch Annual Strike Out Hunger! Food Drive

Local Bank Aims to Collect Enough Food Donations to Feed 5,300 Families to Help Celebrate “Fifth Third Day”

Kennesaw, Ga. – Today, Fifth Third Bank (Georgia) announced it is going to bat with the Gwinnett Braves – to launch Strike Out Hunger! This community food drive will run from April 18 through May 3 (“Fifth Third Day” on 5/3) and is aimed at collecting enough products to feed 5,300 families in the Atlanta Metro area.

Members of the community are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items – such as canned fruits and meats, peanut butter and boxed cereal – to participating Fifth Third Bank financial centers. While supplies last, the bank will give baseball game tickets to those who make a contribution to the food drive, courtesy of the Gwinnett Braves.

We believe that a continual investment in our community can make a meaningful impact. Each year, the bank recognizes its employees, customers and the communities it serves on the third day of the fifth month – or 5/3 on the calendar,” said Randy Koporc, president of Fifth Third Bank (Georgia). “We’re proud to be working with top-notch organizations like the Gwinnett Braves, Kennesaw State University, the Augusta GreenJackets, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and the Golden Harvest Food Bank to help families and children in need throughout the Atlanta area.”

After the month-long food drive, the bank will deliver food donations to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, which will in turn feed thousands of families.

The need for food in our community continues to increase, and the donated items will directly help people here in our own backyards,” said Bill Bolling, Founder and Executive Director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “Each year, we distribute more than 45 million pounds of food to help feed the food insecure through our network of more than 600 partner agencies throughout metro Atlanta and north Georgia. We are humbled that Fifth Third Bank has once again focused on contributing to our efforts to fight hunger and provide hope.”

The Gwinnett Braves are proud to team up with Fifth Third Bank to help answer a vital need of our community,” said North Johnson, General Manager of the Gwinnett Braves. “The Atlanta Community Food Bank does a tremendous job in providing food to hungry children and families, and we are glad to do our part in helping keep those food banks stocked.”

To take part in fighting hunger and receive tickets to the Gwinnett Braves vs. Lehigh Valley Ironpigs on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 7:05 p.m., residents can drop off food donations at financial centers in AlpharettaAtlantaDuluthLawrencevilleLoganville,Roswell, and Norcross from April 18 through May 3.

** Disclosure: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Offer available only at participating Fifth Third locations. Offer valid April 18, 2014 – May 3, 2014. Donations may be made during regular business hours. Limit one ticket per donated item with a maximum of four tickets per person. Offer good only while supplies last.

Food collection bins are set up at all 32 Fifth Third financial centers in the following counties: Columbia, Richmond, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Walton, and Cobb. Location addresses are available at 53.com.

An Evening with Jennifer Senior, All Joy and No Fun Coming to Atlanta History Center April 23rd!

Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. In All Joy and No Fun award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior now asks: what are the effects of children on their parents? Senior tackles this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear.

She draws upon multi-disciplinary research to discuss the timeless strains of parenting as well as the those that are brand new. As an active, modern parent, I am sure this is a subject matter with which you are very familiar!

I encourage you to attend and to share this lecture with you friends and readers. It will be held at the Atlanta History Center on Wednesday, April 23rd, at 8:00 pm. Admission is inexpensive at $10 for nonmembers, $5 for members, and free for AHC insiders.  Guests to the lecture receive 25% off of the featured book. Find out more at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Keep Your Girls Body Strong and Your Taste Buds Happy with Viactiv® Calcium Chews #ViactivYoursandHers

It is never too early to start worrying about bone health. Many moms are surprised to learn that 86% of teenage girls have calcium-deficient diets (overall, 68% percent of adult women are calcium deficient). Why is this such a frightening statistic? For teen girls, this deficiency comes at a crucial time for bone health, since 95% of bone building occurs by the time she's 20! Calcium is the main mineral that strengthens bones and this is most important during adolescence when teens are going through their growth spurt. If you have a teenage at home like a do, you need to make sure they are getting a good nutrition.

I recently bought the new Viactiv® calcium chocolate chews to supplement my calcium intake and I was pleasantly surprised that not only they taste like a real chocolate but they are fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D helps promote the absorption of calcium, so if you have a deficiency of vitamin D your bones may not be able to absorb the adequate amount of calcium they need to them keep them healthy.

I have been diagnosed with a severe deficiency of vitamin D and I need to take supplements for the rest of my life (true story). I always worry my daughter could experience the same problem so I bought the Viactiv® calcium caramel chews to supplement her nutrition. She is very picky when it comes to supplements so I wasn't sure if she would like it or not. But guess what? She loves them. Her first reaction was "I feel like I'm cheating. This feels like I'm eating a real caramel. Yum!"
Viactiv® (www.viactiv.com) is the #1 doctor-recommended calcium chew that helps keep your body strong with 3 important nutrients:
  • Calcium that's essential to bone strength
  • Vitamin D that's necessary for your bones to absorb calcium1
  • Vitamin K that works together with Vitamin D for optimal calcium absorption and bone density
Do something healthy and delicious for yourself and your daughter everyday. Try the individually wrapped chews in luscious Milk Chocolate, tasty Caramel or Sugar Free Chocolate! It takes a lifetime of smart nutrition and exercise to keep your body moving well through life. Start a healthy regimen today, and use these smart tips to help put you on the path to stronger bones— and a stronger you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bluebird Patch Teens Interviews Piano Prodigy Ethan Bortnick


Hello everyone, my name is Audrey and I'm the new TEEN contributor of the Bluebird Patch! I'm so excited that I was able to do this interview with Ethan, and now I get to share it with you. Ethan Bortnick is an amazing pianist, composer, entertainer, singer, and humanitarian who is 13 years old. 

Ethan currently holds the Guinness World Record for Youngest Solo Musician to headline his own Tour. He was named one of Oprah's “All Time Smartest and Most Talented Kids” and is coming to the Buckhead Theatre on April 13 to give an exclusive performance. 

In “The Power of Music”, Ethan performs a range of music that appeals to people of all ages. Hear songs from The Beatles to Elton John to Broadway, from Chopin to Neil Diamond, from Michael Jackson to Motown to rock 'n roll, and everything in between.

Now, let's here what Ethan has to say:

Q: Tell me a little bit about your background.
A:Well, I was born in Florida, and I live in Florida. My parents are from the Ukraine and they moved to America, and I enjoy playing the piano.

Q: How did you discover your love for music?
A: One day I saw a lot of older kids playing piano at my school and I was curious of what it was like. So, I asked my parents when I was 3 if I could have piano lessons, but they actually said no. So what happened was that I took out a little plastic keyboard. I got to like my 2nd birthday, and then I got to all of the music that I heard on the tv and radio I started coping down on my little toy keyboard. And after that, I showed my parents and they said we're getting you piano lessons Ethan. And that's how it started.

Q: How important for you to help others. What are some of the organizations that you are very fond of?
A: Well, I really think that it is important to help others especially with music and really I've seen how music changes the world and changes peoples lives. I really think that it is important to use all of our talents. It doesn't have to be music, I mean if you're good at cooking, or you're good at art or you're good at sports. Whatever it is as long as you use your talents to help other people, I think that it's really great. So, its really great to work with a lot of amazing foundations and organizations that work to help. There's Juvenile Diabetes Fundraiser, The American Cancer Society, U.S.O., Children's Miracle Network, One by One, and a lot more but those are some.

Q: You're doing things that kids your age don't necessarily do. What are a few things that you like to do in your free time?
A: Let's see: Video games, reading, sports, playing with my brother, playing with friends, drawing, eating, going to school, breathing, walking, all that type of stuff. You know, just regular kid stuff.

Q: I've heard that you can play a piece of music after only hearing it once. It is true?
A: Yes!

Q: Who are your influences in music?
A:Well, I really didn't have any influences when I was 3, because I was 3. I guess every person that I hear, I mean really all artist inspire me to do different things. From preforming to writing songs to getting up on stage, many artist influence and inspire me in many different ways.

Q: If you could change one thing about the world what would you change about it and why?
A: I guess I would change all the bad people into good people.

Q: Have you been thinking about going to college?
A: I don't know because that's like in 6 years or something. Really, I don't like to plan so far ahead. I guess, I just want to continue doing this for as long as I can. But, I don't know: we'll see in 6 years.

Q: Who is the one person that inspires you the most?
A: I guess it would be my brother. Because everyday when I see that he's healthy and happy and he's running around and playing sports, having a smile on his face he's the one that inspires me to do what I do.

Q: If you weren't doing music what do you think you might be doing right now?
A: I would probably be in school right now.

Q: What is the one thing that you always have to have with you?
A: My laptop.

Would you rather.....
Salty or sweet: salty
Ice Cream or Froyo: Ice Cream
Indoors or Outdoors: Indoors
Twitter or Instagram: Instagram
Xbox or Playstation: Xbox
Cats or Dogs: Dogs
Summer or Winter: Winter
Gummy Bears or Chocolate: Chocolate
Tablet or Smartphone: Tablet
Sunglasses or Hats: Sunglasses
Minecraft or Terraria: Minecraft
Roller coasters or Water parks: Water parks
Burgers or Pizza: Burgers
Cupcakes or Cookies: Cookies
LA or New York :LA

Last minute giveaway! Comment on this post and tell us why you want to go to the concert! We'll pick a winner by Friday!

Georgia SPCA 5th Annual Fall Gala "An Evening in Paris"

Hi everyone, as you all know I'm a volunteer at Georgia SPCA and I'm helping them this year with their big fundraiser event. This year Georgia SPCA is putting on the dog at its fifth annual fundraiser, with a runway show of haute couture fashions for the well-dressed dog.

 On September 6, 2014, from 6 PM until 11 PM, the Georgia SPCA celebrates “An Evening in Paris” at the Gwinnett Center Ballroom, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. The evening includes a silent auction, with music and dancing courtesy of DJ Mr. Christopher of Audiocake , and catering by Proof of the Pudding, but the climax of the evening might just be the dogs who will walk the catwalk to model designer fashions created by Linda Higgins of Classy Doggie Designs. 
Linda shows her couture canine fashions at fashion week events all over the country and is excited to be participating in “An Evening in Paris.” Linda’s fashions have been featured on the front cover of Chihuahua Connection and Pet Style magazines, in the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua and can be found in boutiques all over the world. Linda’s design won the Best Dressed in Show award at the 2013 New York Pet Fashion Show.

This is one of our most important fundraisers of the year, “said Georgia SPCA Executive Director Jane Stewart. “We depend on proceeds from this event to help us rescue and find new homes for more than 1,200 abandoned, neglects and abused pets each year, and to provide low-cost vaccines and spay-neuter services to Georgia pet owners.”

Tickets for the event are $75 per person and can be purchased at the Georgia SPCA adoption center at 1175 Buford Hwy in Suwanee, or online at www.GeorgiaSPCA.org or Paris.GeorgiaSPCA.org. Business sponsorships are also available. For more information or to purchase a sponsorship for this event, contact Jane Lumbatis at 678-852-2952.

McDonald’s Give A Hand to Support ARMHC is the Month of May

 Give A Hand is a McDonald's tradition where customers are able to donate directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) by purchasing paper hands for $1, $3 or $5. Customers can display their Hand in the restaurant to show their support for RMHC. Last year, customers donated more than $5 million to Ronald McDonald House chapters all over the world - help us exceed that total this year! Visit a participating Atlanta area McDonald's restaurant throughout the month of May to purchase your Hand to benefit Atlanta's two Ronald McDonald Houses!
Link to learn more about Give A Hand: https://www.armhc.org/2014-give-a-hand

*Interesting Fact of April: Volunteers at Atlanta’s two Ronald McDonald Houses are helping families feel more at home in fun and creative ways. From yoga classes to help parents de-stress to tennis lessons to help kids stay active, ARMHC volunteers help fill our Houses with love and support.

Connect with ARMHC on their social media handles:

Strong4Life CRCTs / A+ Strategies To Boost Test Scores

Students across Georgia will be taking the CRCTs at the end of April, so how can parents help their kids stay alert, energized and focused for the big test? Believe it or not, kids can eat, drink and even sleep their way to better test scores. Children’sHealthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life experts created the following study guide and testing tips so you can help your child raise his scores.

Strong4Life’s Study Guide:
  • Before test day, be sure your child gets to bed at a reasonable hour so his mind is well rested and ready to show its stuff.
  • On test mornings, serve a balanced breakfast, including 100% whole grains, giving kids plenty of energy and preventing a blood sugar drop for several hours.
  • Try a piece of 100% whole wheat toast, 1 hardboiled egg, fruit and wash it down with a delicious glass of low-fat milk.
  • Keep young brains well lubricated with plenty of water, before the test and during breaks.


  1. SLEEP
Students who get enough sleep are better able to remember and recall what they’ve learned. Don’t stay up late to cram; it’s better to get your Z’s. Rule of thumb: 7-12 year olds need 10-11 hours/day. 12-18 year olds need 8-9 hours/day.

Get their test day (and every day!) started with the right fuel. It’s a tall order, but try to serve at least three of the four food groups with this meal. Include a variety of foods, like whole grains (bread, brown rice, oatmeal), protein (eggs, lean meat, tofu, nuts, beans), fresh fruits or veggies, and low fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese).

Don't forget about water! Our brains are more than 85% water, so they need plenty of the wet stuff to work well. Thirsty brains can experience short-term memory loss, trouble focusing and difficulty with math problems. If teacher allows, send your child with a water bottle to keep him energized, alert and focused.

  1. SNACKS:
Pack your child a healthy snack. If he’ll be going longer than four hours between meals, a nutritious snack (see also next slide) mid-way will help regulate blood sugar, and keep energy level and mental focus high. Snack suggestions: fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers, mini bagels and cream cheese.

Avoid giving kids simple sugars. Whether you’re sending in snacks for your own little Einstein or the whole class, nix the sugary cereals, toaster pastries, juice, cookies and candy. Sure, they provide an energy burst. But they’re followed by a crash, leaving your kid feeling tired and sluggish—not what they need on test day.

Your child has worked hard all year to prepare for the CRCT (and other standardized tests). Now it’s your turn to help him shine by making sure he eats right and sleeps well beforehand. Study hard + eat right + sleep tight = the right equation for testing success! For more nutrition tips visit the HealthyEating section on Strong4Life.com.

What's Happy This Week! Roof Top Vegetable Garden For The Homeless Shelter


April 5, was “PLANTING DAY”, for the Task Force and its volunteers as they plant vegetables in the 50 raised beds the group has constructed over the past two weeks.  


The purpose of the garden is to provide a home-grown and sustainable source of nutrition and food for the homeless community”, says Anita Beaty. The 95,000 square foot Homeless Shelter located on the corners of Peachtree & Pines Streets is the largest shelter space in the southeastern US  providing shelter and services to an average of 750 men, women, and children on a daily basis.  The shelter is a non-profit 501©3 organization. 

Over the past two weeks the shelter has received loads of donated compost and topsoil, all of which was bucket brigaded up 4 flights of stairs.  Volunteers will use the 120 pieces of donated lumber to make 40 raised planting beds (see photos below of the beds already built and producing seedlings).  Other smaller pre-fab planting beds were also donated.


Those local businesses contributing the majority of supplies were:
Lowe’s Stores:  Alpharetta, Suwannee, Chamblee                        
Home Depot:  Cumming, Windward Pkwy, Hwy 92, Holcomb Bridge                   
Costco: Brookhaven
A-Class Solutions, Inc
Plant Rescue of Georgia
Paul’s Martino’s Planting Beds
Global Paints for Charity
Scottsdale Farms
Dunkin Donuts
B & B Bagels
Brooklyn Joe’s Pizza
Volunteers from: 12Stone, North Point Community, and Stonecreek church

The mission of the Task Force is to advocate with and to represent the dignity and rights of people who are homeless in our society, toward the goal of preventing homelessness and seeking appropriate and affordable housing for all. To learn more please visit:  atlantataskforceforhomeless.org
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