Marburn Academy, Wendy's Chili Open and more.

Marburn Academy I didn't know they did that!

Robotics, Shakespeare, musical theater, debate team, video production, public speaking, ski club, and high-level academics are familiar school activities to most central Ohio families. Many parents might be surprised to learn that these programs are an integral part of the experience at Marburn Academy, too.

Marburn Academy is a college-preparatory school for first-twelfth grade students with ADHD and/or dyslexia. Marburn students are bright, social, interesting, caring, funny and insightful, just like other youngsters. But because they learn in a different way, they need a different kind of teaching.

Marburn offers Orton-Gillingham, a research-based, time-tested reading approach that helps struggling readers develop into students who read at grade level or beyond. Marburn is one of only 11 schools accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). Marburn students also learn organization, self-management and self-advocacy skills in a challenging and rewarding academic program. One-hundred percent of Marburn graduates are accepted into college.

Marburn is in the forefront of educational research in the areas of mathematics and student self-management, participating in nationally recognized projects seeking ways to help youngsters who learn differently to succeed.

But there is another difference found at Marburn Academy that might not be so obvious at other schools: students of all ages love coming to school! Marburn is a vibrant, success-based learning community that knows how to teach students who learn differently. Visit Marburn Academy and see how good a school can be.

For more information contact Nancy Paul, director of communication and public relations at (614) 433-0822 x110, or visit www.marburnacademy.org.


Drama Kids: More than just an act
Realizing the opportunity to make a "dramatic" difference in the community, local entrepreneur Ellen Heidbreder has set out to build the speech skills and confidence of children throughout Columbus by offering a new program that is changing the "scene" of traditional drama instruction.

"At Drama Kids, children have fun learning important communication skills they will need to succeed in life," Heidbreder said. "The skills they learn in our program give them the confidence they need for basic activities required at school, such as giving a report to the class, reading aloud in a group setting or participating in classroom discussions."

Unlike most other drama centers, where children memorize and recite lines for a performance, the Drama Kids program aims to provide a nurturing and confidence building environment that teaches children to speak out clearly and relate confidently with peers. In a classroom environment, these skills improve a child's ability to give book reports, speeches and actively participate in group projects.

Drama Kids Columbus offers weekly, age-appropriate classes for students ages 5 to 18. The school year program is designed to allow new enrollment throughout the year, space permitting. Drama Kids also offers summer camp and an in-school program that brings its innovative curriculum directly into the classroom. For more information, or to enroll in classes, visit DramaKids.com/oh1.


Local business combines charity with commerce
Personal care entrepreneur Jennifer Bahney has launched the Suds With Love program just in time for the holiday season.

Under the program, Bahney's soap company, SavonClaire (French for "clear soap"), donates one soap to a person in need for each soap purchased.

"The idea is to get soap into the hands of people who otherwise think of it as a luxury," Bahney said. "Not only will beautiful soap help boost self-esteem, it will help prevent the spread of preventable diseases like the H1N1 virus currently plaguing the country."

According to a United Nations Human Rights Committee report, "The simple act of washing hands with soap can drastically reduce deaths from preventable diseases, which are killing thousands of people every day."

Suds With Love donations are currently being made to Columbus-area homeless and women's shelters. Bahney hopes to expand the program nationally and internationally in the future.

"I would love nothing more than to ship cases of soap to people in need in Africa, South and Central America - wherever poverty prevents good hygiene and contributes to the spread of disease," Bahney said.

SavonClaire soaps are currently available online at www.sudswithlove.com, or by calling (740) 497-3443.


Sugar Run Farm offers unique training program for horses and riders
Sugar Run Farm, a full service hunter/jumper facility located in Plain City, offers a unique training program for horses and riders, focusing on the philosophy that a "happy" horse is a successful horse. Owner and head trainer Jennifer Nadalin, with the help of her partner, Chris Eadline, developed this successful program that has led to many great achievements in the show ring.

At Sugar Run Farm, close attention is paid to each horse's health, fitness and rideability. Nadalin believes it is important that both the horse and rider are having fun, while paying close attention to detail so that the pair can be successful. She understands that each rider has a unique set of goals to achieve, and believes that by focusing on fundamentals and details they can quickly achieve these goals while enjoying the journey.

The excellent training program at Sugar Run Farm allows riders to successfully compete at the top horse shows across the country. Nadalin recently traveled to Brownland Autum Classic in Nashville to compete. She rode Cornelius and Lazzara in the Regular Working Hunter division, earning the championship tricolor aboard Cornelius and the reserve championship honors with Lazzara.

Sugar Run Farm is a 25-acre facility located just west of Columbus, and features a 14-stall main barn, as well as a separate 8-stall pony barn. Nadalin trains riders from the short-stirrup level all the way through the grand prix level, and Sugar Run Farm offers amenities for all levels of riders. An indoor ring, three outdoor rings, a grand prix field, and a riding area for beginners are attached to the pony barn. Sugar Run Farm offers many horses for sale and lease that riders can consider. For older horses, a retirement barn offers ample turnout, and caretaking of the horses that took care of their riders.

For more information about Sugar Run Farm, please visit www.sugarrunfarm.com.


The Wendy's Chili Open
The Wendy's Chili Open is an annual wintertime fundraising event that raises money and increases awareness to benefit many children's charities in central Ohio. This family-oriented event has helped raise over $1.3 million for area children's charities such as The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, The Children's Hunger Alliance, The Special Care Nursery at Mount Carmel St. Ann's, The Ohio Troopers Caring Fund, W.A.R.M. and numerous other children's betterment programs. The Westerville Sunrise Rotary club organizes and runs the event, and 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to charities.

The Westerville Sunrise Rotary Club is excited to bring the event to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for the first time on February 6, 2010. Recently ranked as the number 1 zoo in America by USA Travel Guide, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium offers something for the entire family by allowing anyone with a ticket to the Chili Open to visit all zoo and aquarium exhibits at no additional charge.

The Rotarians welcome everyone to visit with family and friends, relax or dance to live music by The Debits and enjoy some of the finest food from many well-known area restaurants. Please contribute generously for the sake of our central Ohio children's charities.

Get tickets at Kroger for $25, or $30 at the Columbus Zoo gate. Parking is $5. Visit www.wendyschiliopen.com or call (614) 823-8000.