Oakstone Academy, Wag fest, KaBOOM play days and Dublin Dance Centre & Gymnastics 25th anniversary celebration.

Team approach meets academic and social needs
Getting your child ready for middle school or high school involves a lot more than buying the usual stuff on the classroom materials list. In addition to the emotional ups and downs that come naturally with these years, students also need to navigate more social and academic pressures than ever before. That's why the educators at Oakstone Academy, a private, co-ed school, have worked to create a place where high expectations in academics and behavior are part of the overall environment.

Oakstone also is known as a full-inclusion school, which means that children without disabilities learn side-by-side with children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

While it is widely accepted that children with disabilities benefit from learning and socializing with those who do not, research also shows that students without disabilities have much to gain, including improved self-esteem, helping behavior and acceptance for those with differences.

Another Oakstone plus: small class sizes allow highly-qualified teachers to meet the needs of all students while providing a dynamic learning environment. Teachers also can personalize programs for students who are working beyond grade level.
For more information on Oakstone Academy, please call Nikki Kerns, principal at Oakstone Academy, at (614) 865-9643.

KaBOOM! Play Days provide family fun
KaBOOM!, the national non-profit organization that is bringing play back into the lives of children, will host more than 1,000 free, fun-for-the-whole-family Play Days across the country from September 19-27.

KaBOOM! Play Days are outdoor events that celebrate play with games and activities, and are guaranteed to bring happiness and laughter to your family, along with the wellness benefits of play. KaBOOM! believes that unstructured play helps make children happier, fitter, smarter, more socially adept and creative. KaBOOM! Play Days are an opportunity for communities to come together to improve their local parks and playspaces with clean-ups, simple enhancements and construction projects. Hop on to http://www.kaboom.org/playday to plan or find a Play Day in your area.

Dogs rule at WAG! Festival
The 2009 WAG! Festival will be held Saturday, August 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Prairie Oaks Metro Park in Hilliard. Bring your BFF (best furry friend) and join us! Admission is free.

As the largest one-day dog festival in central Ohio, this year's WAG! Fest will offer everything from educational advice to live entertainment. It's a free, fun and convenient way for dog enthusiasts to learn all about the products and services needed for their canine companions, while enjoying the open air of one of central Ohio's newest Metro Parks.

Activities include:
WAG! Wilderness Walk benefiting the Capital Area Humane Society. Dogs can take a dip at the Sunny 95 Water Bark Beach off-leash swim area. Guests can meet experts from area rescue groups to learn about the best four-legged match for their homes and lifestyles at the PetPeople Meet the Breed Pavilion. Plus much more! The Darby Bend Lakes area of Prairie Oaks Metro Park is located at 2755 Amity Rd. in Hilliard. WAG! is produced by Event Marketing Group and sponsored by Franklin County Metro Parks and PetPeople. For more information, visit http://www.WAGFEST.com.

Dublin Dance Centre & Gymnastics celebrates 25 years
Dublin Dance Centre & Gymnastics is celebrating 25 years of business in the greater Dublin community. The studio is hosting a kickoff party to ignite what will be a year-long celebration of dance and gymnastics. Everyone is invited to attend this special 25th anniversary event on Saturday, September 19, from 4-7 p.m. at the studio located at 2665 Farmers Dr. There will be kid-friendly activities, dance performances and tours of the studio.

Dublin Dance Centre & Gymnastics was established in 1984 by Teresa Crye in an effort to find quality dance instruction in a safe and positive environment for children. Her love of the arts and passion for confidence-centered education has fostered the growth of Dublin Dance Centre & Gymnastics to include a full program for beginners through pre-professional students; 2 1/2 years old through adult.

Each class is designed for the age of the students and their levels of experience in the art form. Art forms include ballet, ballroom, break dance, creative dance, gymnastics, hip-hop, Irish, jazz, lyrical, modern, pilates, pointe, tap, and yoga. The center is a non-competitive studio that provides the highest quality dance instruction in a supportive, nurturing environment. Dublin Dance Centre & Gymnastics is more than just a weekly class, it is a place for your child to move, grow and find inspiration.

For more information on Dublin Dance Centre & Gymnastics call (614) 761-2882, or visit http://www.dublindance.com. Fall classes are now forming.