Play Room May 2018


Kids to Know: The Marchers

Thousands of students and allies across the country marched for gun control on March 24. Here in Portland, the March for Our Lives event was organized by a group of teens from schools across the metro area: Alexandria Goddard, 18, Calum Nguyen, 18, Sophie Rupp, 18, and Ryan Tran, 17, all from Sunset High School in Beaverton; Ellie Younger, 17 of Southridge High in Beaverton; Eliana Andrews, 15, from Lincoln High in Portland; Zoe Dumm, 19, from Roosevelt High in Portland; Tyler White, 17, from De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland and Finn Jacobson, 14, Alder Creek Middle School in Milwaukie. Nguyen says his involvement was inspired by survivors of the shooting in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and also by his younger sister. “I have a little sister who is in eighth grade. I cannot imagine what I would do if this happened to her,” he says.


Organizing the event in just over a month proved to be a challenge. “Every one of the organizers sacrificed sleep and school and work to make this happen,” says Goddard. March for Our Lives Portland estimates that more than 20,000 people showed up. But not everyone was supportive and a number of online commenters told them to stop bullying, stop texting and driving, stop whining, stop being the pawns of the liberal media — essentially, to sit down and shut up. “The comments never made us question this march because we knew we were doing what was right,” says Goddard. “Our biggest concern was threats of violence, but we never considered quitting. Not for a moment.”

Now that the march is over, their activism is not waning. Goddard says that the organizers have been asked to be a part of an Oregon Health and Sciences University forum on gun violence and are starting a political action committee. “We also encourage eligible individuals to register to vote, educate themselves, and vote,” adds Nguyen who hopes to become a neurosurgeon and eventually run for office one day. — Denise Castañon

The March for Our Lives student organizers with the band Portugal. The Man, who gave a free concert after the march.

Pay Attention: Voting Time


We know. National politics is more than a little bit … extra … right now, and it’s easy for local and even statewide politics to get lost in the mix. But this month, get ready to make your choices in primary contests for the gubernatorial, state legislator, Metro councilor, county commissioner and city councilor levels. Incumbent Gov. Kate Brown is the only one running on the Democratic side, hoping to win a full four-year term in November. (She’s currently serving a two-year term after replacing former Governor John Kitzhaber, who left office amidst scandal.) Brown is known for being an outspoken advocate on issues including children’s health care and affordable housing. On the Republican side there are at least four candidates hoping to grab the nomination, including state Rep. Knute Buehler of Bend, who ran and lost to Brown back in 2016, and says he would focus on reform of the public employees’ retirement system if he were to win. Multnomah County voters, meanwhile, will have to consider another hot topic — whether to reauthorize the Portland Children’s Levy for another five years. Funding from the levy pays for after-school programs, help for foster kids and money for anti-childhood-hunger programs. — Julia Silverman

We Recommend: Bike Art

Keep an eye out for the new kid-designed bike lane art around town, a joint initiative of the Multnomah County Library and the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Does your kid have an inspired design of their own? Coloring contest forms will be available all month long at your local branch. (Pro Tip: Ride your bike to any county library this month and you’ll get a free bike light.) — J.S. 

TOP 5 U-Pick Strawberry Spots 

➊ Sauvie Island Farms No frills, no fuss, just fields of the sweetest strawberries under the sun. 19818 NW Sauvie Island Rd.
➋ Smith Berry Barn The Hoods ripen first, but at this Hillsboro farm, they are quickly followed by Shuksans and Bentons. 24500 SW Scholls Ferry Rd.
➌ Unger Farms A farmers’ market staple, this family-run farm has added an on-site cafe and a kids’ play area adjacent to their u-pick fields. 34880 SW Johnson School Rd., Cornelius.
➍ Baggenstos Farms After your kids finish picking, they can visit the pygmy goats, or take a hay-bale ride. 15801 SW Roy Rogers Rd., Sherwood.
➎ Olson Farms Thanks to their southern Damascus location, berries here often ripen a bit earlier than at other farms; if you just can’t wait, check here first. 22255 SE Borges Rd., Damascus. — J.S.

Playlist: Science Songs

Let’s say you aced elementary school science when you were a kid, but go completely blank when your kiddo asks you, “What’s lightning made of?” Then the new album Zoom a Little Zoom, by the grand dames of kindie music, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, is just for you. The duo has re-recorded a treasure trove of fact-based science songs by Hy Zaret and Lou Singer, which were originally written in 1961. And the songs have a decidedly old-timey feel to them (two of the songs are Irish jigs). But my kids have been singing the title track nonstop and my 3-year-old son always giggles at the joke at the end of Why Does the Sun Shine? And if I have managed to relearn some basic science facts about vibration, gravity, snow crystals and the constellations, then I know my kids are absolutely soaking it up, too. Available at — D.C.

Ask Dr. Corey: Night Frights


Q: My 3-year-old daughter is having crazy night terrors. She comes running out of bed in the middle of the night, and sometimes she is just yelling nonsense words. We can usually soothe her back down, but I am worried about her disrupted sleep. Is this normal?

A: Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, while not
generally harmful for children, can cause an incredible amount of disruption for parents, siblings, or other members of the household. And they’re common! Close to 40 percent of children between the ages of 2.5 and 6 years old experience night terrors at some point though they are most common between the ages of 4 and 12 years old.

A classic night terror occurs in the first third of nighttime sleep and typically involves a screaming, upset, sweaty, flushed child. What’s interesting about night terrors, though, is that the children don’t remember them at all and tend to look puzzled when a concerned parent discusses the event the morning after it happens. Which is reassuring in a way, right? These episodes would be much more difficult to manage if a child had bad memories associated with it. They also generally aren’t a barrier to good sleep.

The exact reason night terrors occur is not well understood, but they seem to be part of a larger group of sleep related disorders such as sleep walking and “confusional arousals” which resemble sleep terrors but tend to happen in toddler-age children. There’s probably also a genetic component, meaning these episodes can run in families.

The good news is that children will outgrow sleep terrors. But if they’re happening frequently and are disruptive to the well-being of the family, parents can try a trick called “scheduled wakening.” This means attempting to wake the child up 15 or 20 minutes before the time these events typically occur. Generally parents should respond to the child after waking them as if the child has woken on their own. It may not be 100 percent effective, but it’s worth a try.

Also, sleep terrors don’t typically respond well to attempts at comforting or calming the child. In fact, trying to calm a child with a sleep terror may actually make it worse.

If there are symptoms of daytime sleepiness or behavioral changes, a conversation with your child’s health care provider may be in order, as this can indicate a more serious sleep issue, such as sleep apnea.

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