Archive for: November 2012

November Puzzle Place

 By West Knoxville Mathnasium

Click on the puzzle below to download your own copy! Read more →

Ten terrific books about giving thanks

 By Erin Nguyen, Children’s Department, Knox County Public Library


Bear Says Thanks
By Karma Wilson
Reading level: PreK – 2nd
When all his forest friends bring items for a feast, Bear is worried that he won’t be able to show his gratitude, but they reassure him that just being himself is all the thanks they need. Read more →

Get out to be safe

Developing a family escape plan

Article provided by Premier Martial Arts


Teaching children how to focus, show respect, get and set goals is very important; of equal importance is teaching well-rounded safety skills that will serve and protect their entire lives. The great part is the more you teach life skills the easier it becomes to teach safety skills and vice versa. Today we will focus on mapping out a family escape plan. Read more →

Attitude of gratitude

From adversity comes appreciation

By Kathryn Rea Smith, PH.D.


At Thanksgiving many families have a tradition of pausing to acknowledge blessings. All family members are encouraged to identify that for which they are grateful, and the individual expression of blessings leads to a cumulative appreciation of the bounty in life. This is something about Thanksgiving people look forward to. Some people, though, have learned to express their gratitude every day throughout the year. Read more →

The blessing of fatherhood

By David Brickhouse



My family is the most important thing in my life, and being able to experience fatherhood is a complete blessing. I have 4 children the oldest is Nicole,18, then Briar, 16, Garrett is 12, and Gracee, 6. However, for me it was not as easy or as simple as I would have imagined. Something that made being a father difficult for me was that I also had an obligation to my country. As a medic in the U.S. Army I served for eleven years and was deployed twice. Read more →

Music appreciation

Liza Zenni, Executive Director of the Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville


Here in Knoxville, your child could be one of the over 30,000 children a year reached by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO) through its extensive Education & Community Partnerships Program.

Just last month the KSO Young People’s Concert series presented Scientific Symphony at the Civic Auditorium, during which over 10,000 students in the third-fifth grades explored the science of sound.  How is sound produced?  How does it travel?  How do we hear sound?  The symphony experimented with these questions using an oscilloscope that showed a visual representation of sound waves.

Coming up, you and your kids are invited to KSO Story Times: How Many Cats?  Join a KSO Quartet at one of our local library branches as they perform an interactive program created for pre-school children and their families.  How Many Cats?  is a program all about cats joining children’s literature, excerpts of classical music, sound effects, and interactive elements. Children will count along with the quartet as they discover how counting is important in music.  Stories featured will include:  Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, How Many Cats? and When Cats Go Wrong.  These programs are free and open to the public.

Open to all students, the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra (KSYO) includes 270 of the region’s most talented young musicians.  These young players participate in one of five orchestras from beginning through advanced levels.  The orchestras present a combined concert three times throughout the year at the Tennessee Theatre.  In addition the advanced ensemble, the Youth Orchestra, presents a special concert in February that features winners of the annual concerto competition.  Students ages 7 – 18 participate in the KSYO, and their concerts are inspiring for peers considering playing an instrument.

The KSYO performs at the Tennessee Theatre at 7:00 PM on November 12, 2012; 3:00 PM on February 17, 2013; 7:00 PM on February 18, 2013; or 7:00 PM on May 6, 2013. All KSYO Concerts are free and open to the public with general admission seating.


“The American Music Conference reports that music makers were more likely to go on to college and other higher education than non-music makers – 52% more likely!”


And if that weren’t enough, KSO’s Very Young People’s Concerts are created specifically for preschool, kindergarten, first and second grade students. The program High-Low! Fast-Slow! explores opposites in music with the help of Maestro Lucas Richman and the KSO’s animated friend, Picardy Penguin.  Picardy interacts with the audience, Maestro Richman, guest artists and the KSO!  Reservation forms are available on-line at

Dates for the Very Young People’s Concerts are February 26, 2013 at 9:30 AM at the Tennessee Theatre and 9:30 AM on February 27, 2013 at the Clayton Center for the Arts, Maryville.

The KSO also visits elementary schools in our region through the classroom connections and in-school programs and presents KSO Story Times in local pre-kindergarten classrooms.  Classroom Connections sends pairs of KSO musicians into classrooms to give students the opportunity to see instruments up-close and helps to prepare them for music that they will hear at Young People’s Concerts.  The in-school program is performed by a KSO string quartet on a different cross-curricular theme each year.  This year the quartet program, Musical Explorers, joins explorers from history with composers who made significant discoveries in music.

The Side-by-Side program pairs a professional musician with a player in a local high school orchestra.  Students learn by “sharing a stand” with a pro through two rehearsals and a joint performance. Upcoming Side-by-Side Concerts are at 7:30 PM January 15, 2013 at the Clayton Center for the Arts (featuring the KSO and Maryville High School students) and 7:30 PM on April 4, 2013 at the Farragut High School Auditorium (featuring the KSO and Farragut High School students).

For more information about all of these programs visit and click Education & Community or Youth Orchestra.




Liza Zenni's PhotoLiza Zenni has been with the Arts & Culture Alliance since 2002. She holds a BA in Theater and a MFA in Arts Administration from the Yale School of Drama. From 1990 to 1995 she was Executive Director of Theatre Bay Area, the largest regional theater service organization in North America.  She and her two daughters live in Oak Ridge, not far from where she grew up.

Mastering thankfulness

By Chief Lee Tramel, Knox County Sheriff’s Office


“Count your blessings; name them one by one; count your many blessings, see what God has done.”  Remember that soul lifting hymn?  Do you know that expressing your thankfulness year round can actually help make you happier, healthier, and reduce stress?   As Thanksgiving approaches we are reminded that we need to appreciate even the simple pleasures and be aware on a continuous basis of just how much we’ve been given.  As writer Marelisa Fabrega said, “Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.” Read more →

Celebrate the holiday season…safely

How to reduce your risk of residential fires

By East Tennessee Children’s Hospital


During the winter, simple actions like turning on the heat, decorating for the holidays and cooking large meals severely increase the risk of fires and fire-related injuries and death. Thirty percent of all fires occur in the winter, causing more than 8,000 injuries and 1,000 deaths. Because of ice, snow and hazardous conditions, firefighting is far more difficult in the winter. Through taking these safety measures recommended by East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, families will be able to reduce the risk of fire in their homes during the holiday season. Read more →

A Different Mirror, an Equal Education

By Michael K. Smith, Ph.D.


I have just read A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America. Originally published by Ronald Takaki in 1993, this edition has been adapted for young readers by Rebecca Stefoff. Takaki chronicles the many waves of immigration that have defined America: from the first English immigrants in the 1600s to the Irish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian Jews, and Mexicans of the 1800s and 1900s. Takaki also records the sad history of forced immigration of Africans who become slaves and the forced relocation of native Indians. The first generation came (or was forced to come) for economic reasons. The second generation realized that the best path to economic success, and assimilation into American society, was through education. For education to succeed, schools and teachers had to change. Read more →

Going beyond the basics to find true thanksgiving

By Piotr Ulmer, MSPT


I grew up in Poland, and I never knew about Thanksgiving, until I came to the United States in 1992. My family and I embraced this joyful holiday whole-heartedly. Halting the flow of life for a splendid family celebration rooted in spirituality and an abundance of food and comfort was very appealing from the start.

Even though we didn’t have Thanksgiving in Poland, we prepared for and celebrated other holidays like Easter and Christmas. I still remember the week-long cleaning of the deepest corners: beating rugs, washing all the base boards, windows, doors, walls and furniture. Read more →