15th Annual Taste of Douglas County

15th Annual Taste of Douglas County

As the saying goes, it’s always a good idea to, “eat, drink and be merry.” Thursday, August 17th, the Douglas County Events Center becomes the site for the hottest ticket in town at the 15th Annual Taste of Douglas County. As the name implies, Taste of Douglas County hosts dozens of local restaurants, cafes, bakeries and coffee houses.

Food samplings will abound from the area’s finest local eateries such as The Old Stone Church, Pegasus Restaurant, Crave Burgers, the famous Airplane Restaurant of Colorado Springs and other area favorites. Although the magnificent sampling is reason enough to attend, there’s more to the Taste of Douglas County than tasting alone. Top area chefs will go head to head in a cooking competition, with Adam Friesem from Castle Rock Adventist Hospital returning to defend his 2016 title. In addition to the return of the chef’s competition, this year chefs will be showcasing their talents in a cooking demonstration, offering samples of their wares. Castle Rock Brewing Company will also be hosting a craft beer seminar and tasting as well. While you’re there, be sure to check out the new Rocky Mountain Harley Davidson motorcycles and get a taste of their fabulous jambalaya. Also on hand will be an all-black 2008 Lamborghini Murcielago from Overdrive Raceway in Monument, visiting with food samples from the Overdrive Raceway Sports Grill!

El Meson Mexican Restaurant, Surena Persian Cuisine, Larkspur Pizzeria & Café, Tailgate Tavern & Grill of Parker, Trestles Coastal Cuisine, Viewhouse Restaurant and many, many more will be on hand to treat your taste buds to flavors that draw inspiration from all corners the globe! In addition to amazing samples of savory morsels and sweet treats, many restaurants offer guests menus and coupons for your next visit.

You can purchase your tickets for Taste of Douglas County in advance for just $10 (children under 3 are free) online at www.tasteofdouglascounty.com/tickets. After August 1st, Pegasus Restaurant in Castle Rock, Castle Rock Senior Center and Enchanted Grounds Coffee in Highlands Ranch will also have tickets available for purchase. Tickets may be purchased at the box office the day of the event for $20 beginning at 5:00pm. All ticket sales are final.

Come hungry, leave happy – the 15th Annual Taste of Douglas County is not to be missed!
Thursday, August 17th from 5-8pm Douglas County Events Center
500 Fairgrounds Road, Castle Rock, CO

Local Business Spotlight – Mathnasium of Parker

Local Business Spotlight

Mathnasium of Parker

Albert Einstein once said, “Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.” Even the greatest mathematical minds reach points of frustration when it comes to making math make sense. That is exactly what instructors at Mathnasium strive to do, make math make sense. Whether a student is struggling to catch up or yearning to be pushed to greater challenges, Mathnasium provides customized curriculum to eliminate the frustration, increase student confidence and ignite a passion for learning.

With the start of a new school year comes a new year of challenges for all students. Some parents may hear a familiar mantra at homework time, “I hate math.” Kids don’t hate math. Students that are struggling with math hate feeling frustrated and confused. Those that excel in math may not be able to delve as deeply into the subject as they’d like or have a desire to be challenged more. Mathnasium will meet each student where they are, bridging those gaps for those who are struggling and challenging those preparing for more advanced classes.

Mathnasium’s unique system provides a strong mathematical foundation by identifying students’ current skill level and helping them propel forward by teaching them math in a way that makes sense to them. There is often a disconnect between students’ learning skills and curriculum they are expected to master. This is a concept Mathnasium Method creator Larry Martinek identified more than 40 years ago. A teacher himself and a father to a mathematically gifted son, he wanted to help students, both gifted and frustrated, to succeed. What formed was a system not based on memorization of facts and formulas, but an approach that builds a deeper mathematical understanding. Students with noticeable gaps in learning may seem obvious candidates for help but just because a child is an A/B student doesn’t necessarily mean there are no gaps in understanding. Bridging those gaps and gaining that confidence is important for all students.

Getting that help is simple. Students or parents can do a quick five question assessment online (whether they are struggling or advanced learners.) If Mathnasium seems like a good fit, an appointment to do an in-house, detailed assessment can be made, which allows instructors to customize a learning plan formulated on concepts needed to meet each child’s specific learning goals. Specially trained instructors then implement the plan; working with your child until they are able to master the material. Instructors want to be there when the learning happens, they don’t assign additional homework, and they provide an encouraging environment where your kids feel motivated and confident so they can learn. Homework help is also provided, helping students turn what was once a frustration into a welcome challenge they can conquer with confidence. For older students, they also offer ACT/SAT math prep, helping students see impressive improvements in math scores.

Watching your child’s confidence blossom in math will undoubtedly trickle over into all areas of their academics. What better gift to give them as they tackle the new school year than the ability to believe in their own abilities? Go online, take the five question survey or just give them a call – the only thing your child stands to lose is frustration, and that is a huge gain!

11211 S. Dransfeldt Rd. , Suite 149
(303) 840-1184

Evolution of a Student

Evolution of a Student

Tips for Success & Survival at Every Stage of School

When you need advice on how to best take care of yourself, you ask your doctor. If you needed help remodeling your home, you would be served well by having an architect draw up plans and an engineer ensuring everything has a strong foundation. With the school year starting, who better to help you build a strong foundation for your student than the people who are going to be with them, everyday, for the next nine months? Take our advice and listen to advice from teachers – you might be surprised at how simple it can be to help your student have a great year, whether they are beginning the trek as a kindergartner or coming to the finish line as a senior in high school.


Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd

It may seem simple, but the simplest things are sometimes the most important. Now that your little one is a “Big Kid” they need to start doing big kid things! Teachers of little ones suggest parents help by making sure kiddos:

  • Know their full name address and mom/dad’s phone number.
  • Can write their name with a capital beginning and rest lowercase.
  • Can tie their shoes, or wear Velcro until they are able!
  • Can open their own lunch and snack.
  • Can put on and zip/snap their own jackets and backpacks.

For parents with children entering elementary, it may be hard to let your little one do more for themselves, but by giving them some control over some things it will allow them to learn/fail/succeed in a safe environment (home/classroom.) Being in charge of their learning is extremely important and that should be the end goal. Each year students should take on another piece of control in their learning. In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly important for students to advocate for themselves (mainly due to technology interaction with peers) and they should learn to advocate both for their learning and in social situations. A true gem in my book is setting a goal, for any age, to start the year. This can be started as early as kindergarten. If a child is struggling with behavior, setting a goal to have positive days at school can have great outcomes in the future.– 2nd grade teacher

Try your best. Work hard. Pay attention to your teacher. Kindergarten is so much fun. You get to learn, but you get to learn in a fun way.– 2nd grade student


3rd, 4th and 5th

Again, covering the basics is important. It helps to:

  • Make sure students have their multiplication and division facts memorized as they head into higher level math and problem solving. It makes a SIGNIFICANT difference!
  • Foster a genuine love of reading. Encourage (don’t force) kids to read chapter books (no matter how short or silly) like CRAZY! Taking an interest in what your child is reading; take them to the library or book store, read chapter books aloud to/with your kids, and model a love of reading as an adult. The more kids read, and the more they want to read, the better readers they will become.

My best advice for parents is to,
1. Let go a little. A fourth grader has never died (that I know of) from forgetting a homework assignment or a lunchbox. Sure that pang in their hearts when they realize they forgot something is a shocker, but if kids are constantly saved from making even the tiniest of mistakes, they will grow up thinking they are no good unless they’re perfect. Talk about a life sentence.
2. Fourth grade is like crossing over from “little kid” to “big kid.” Teachers slowly push kids to do more themselves and take responsibility for their own learning. It’s the switch from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Encourage your child to think for himself, ask questions, and seek answers.– 4th grade teacher

Be confident, you might mess up, but you can learn from your mistakes.– 4th grader


Middle School

Middle school is an important time in a student’s career. It’s an essential transition that allows students to create good study and time management habits, add to background knowledge and understanding, and continue to evolve and grow socially. Students start to have some choices about classes they take and begin to explore their interests. They also continue to learn about themselves and how they best learn and interact with peers and teachers. This growth will go a long way to prepare them for high school and beyond, as they continue to master these skills. This is also an ideal time for parents to practice a gradual release of responsibility to their students. Students and parents can work together to review upcoming assignments, current assignments, and grades. As students move through middle school, parents should encourage students to take the lead and become independent in preparation for high school. Stay involved. Never stop asking about their day, their struggles, their successes, and how they are working towards their goals. It’s the everyday conversations and time that make the most enduring impact for kids.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t understand. If you need to clarify something or don’t understand; ask the question. It saves a lot of frustration and confusion. If you are too nervous to ask in class, hang back a few minutes after class to talk to the teacher, they’d rather you understand than leave not knowing what to do.– 9th grader


High School

Organizational skills are key. Use an online calendar, an app, or a planner (like the ones used all through elementary and middle school) to stay organized and on top of deadlines. Don’t wait until the last minute to complete assignments. High school students are often busy with sports, clubs, jobs and other things, so finding a system that works and utilizing time management is imperative and sets you up for success after graduation. Be accountable for your work and advocate for yourself. In college or the workforce, you will be expected to, so start now. It’s important for parents to stay involved, but it’s critical that students take the lead.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Go in and talk to your teachers, get the answers you need to understand. Everyone will tell you this, and it’s true, high school really does fly by, so enjoy each year, every assembly, sporting event, dance other special activities.– 12th grader

So You Have a Senior…

So You Have a Senior…

Senior year is a tremendous milestone for students, whether they are planning on continuing their education in college, entering the military, perhaps taking a gap year or going straight into the workforce. Senior year is filled with numerous celebrations, but there are also numerous deadlines. If you have a senior, be sure to keep track of these deadlines so your student is not too far behind the 8-ball during what should be one of the most exciting years of their life.

Senior Year Checklist

[ ]   If you haven’t already, book senior photos. They are usually due in the first semester, so having them done before school starts or soon after the start of the year is a good idea.

[ ]   If your senior doesn’t already have an idea of the colleges they want to apply to, start looking as soon as possible. Take the opportunity to visit and tour schools. Chances are multiple colleges will be appealing, so the sooner they start looking, the sooner they’ll be able to research their choices and narrowing down the list for applications.

[ ]   College applications open as early as September, so the sooner they’ve selected which colleges they want to apply to the better!

[ ]   Have your senior start looking for scholarships as soon as school year starts. It is never too early to start applying. Applying for scholarships can continue throughout senior year and even into post-senior year summer.

[ ]   Make sure to have your senior check class credit requirements as soon as school starts; they should already be set as they’ve have already chosen classes, but it doesn’t hurt to double check – better safe than sorry!

[ ]   Many schools require at least 20 hours of community service as a graduation requirement. At the beginning of the year, seniors should check how many hours they’ve completed. Ideally, they should try to complete their hours first semester so they can focus on college applications and other senior requirements for the remainder of the year.

[ ]   That halfway through point is also a good time to check on their grades; graduation eligibility hinges on grades and failing grades would prohibit them from graduating with the rest of their class.


What Seniors Should Know

Advice to Seniors, from a College Freshman

  • Senior Year IS NOT the easiest year, if anything, you should push harder senior year to finish out strong.
  • College applications all require transcripts which include senior year, first semester grades, and colleges also require a final transcript to be sent at the end of the year. Senior year grades are taken into serious consideration, so make sure to stay on top of school senior year!
  • Grades are important, however, do make sure to enjoy your senior year….there are lots of fun opportunities to take a part in. Don’t miss out on things like senior sunrise/sunset, senior assemblies, etc. These special events will make it a lot of fun finishing out your last year of high school!
  • Take advantage of the resources available to you. My most helpful resource was my high school counselor. If I had questions or needed help with credits, community service hours, college/scholarship applications, she was happy to help. If you have questions on college/scholarship essays, your English teacher is also a great resource.
  • It may seem obvious, but Google is also a good resource for application essays.