WHRO has teamed up with Bright by Text, a national parent texting program, to put expert tips, games and child development information directly into the hands of parents and caregivers, with content focused on pre-birth through age eight. Whether you're a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, neighbor, or babysitter, Bright by Text can make caring for a little one easier!

Text the word WHRO to 274448 to sign up.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Friday Dec. 13, 4-8 p.m. - Holiday Frost 2019-Children’s Holiday Celebration, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, 2410 Wickham Avenue, Newport News, VA 23607
Our annual holiday celebration is back! This year, the theme is "The Nightmare Before Frozen" - merging two iconic holiday films into one incredible live experience! very child leaves with their first gift of the holiday season and with an unforgettable memory of this building-wide celebration. RSVP is appreciated but not required for entry.

Saturday, Dec 14, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. - Kids Mario Castle Gingerbread Class, Wine & Cake Hobbies Inc., 6527 Tideater Dr, Norfolk, VA
(AGES 6+) In this hands-on class, kids will decorate their very own Mario Gingerbread Castle & take it home to enjoy! Deadline to register 12/7.

Saturday, December 14, 9 a.m. - Yorktown Toyland Market & Parade, Riverwalk Landing, 331 Water Street, Yorktown, Virginia 23690
The holiday shopping season has officially kicked off in Yorktown! Browse the market for chowders and soups; baked goods including an assortment of cakes, breads, brownies, fudge, cookies; jams, jellies, and honey; holiday wreaths and garland; candles and soaps; and local quality art! Look for colonial crafts and games, holiday music, and other hands-on activities. March in the annual Toyland Parade, and don’t forget to hop aboard the Riverwalk Landing Polar Express for a loop around the festivities.

Saturday, December 14, 1 p.m. - Storytime Fun: Cat in the Hat, Marketplace Court, 300 Monticello Avenue, Norfolk, VA
Cat in the Hat Join Barnes & Noble for a very special story time where all books will be read aloud and signed for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Children will enjoy a storytime, a character meet and greet, milk and cookies, and a craft!

Saturday, December 14, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. - Julbord Festival at IKEA Norfolk
Join us in-store on Saturday, December 14 to celebrate the holidays like a Swede at our Julbord Festival Event.

Saturday, December 14, 7:00 p.m. - Suffolk Holiday Parade , 510 North Main Street, Suffolk, Virginia 23434
Be sure to join in the lights and sounds of the 2019 Suffolk Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 14, at 7 p.m. Find the best spot to watch the floats, equestrian units, marching bands and festive vehicles stroll down West Washington Street and take a turn up North Main Street, with the parade route ending on Finney Avenue.

December 21, 2019 Saturday  10:30 a.m. - Downtown Smithfield Christmas Parade, 319 Main Street, Smithfield, Virginia 23431
The Downtown Smithfield Christmas Parade is held annually in downtown historic Smithfield. With competitive dance studios, police and fire departments, bands and floats and of course, Santa, this old-fashioned parade is great for family fun! This year's Grand Marshal is the Smithfield Fire Dept. past & present members.

Tuesday, Dec. 24, 4 p.m. - Christmas Eve at the Sandler Center, Sandler Center for Performing Arts
If you're looking for a way to celebrate Christmas, we'd love to invite you to a city-wide Christmas Eve service at 4 pm at the Sandler Center for Performing Arts. Children's check-in and light refreshments will begin at 3:45 pm, so plan to arrive in Town Center with enough time to park, walk over, and enjoy some Christmas festivities with us! Free parking is available in the adjacent parking lot or parking garages in Town Center of Virginia Beach. We'll sing Christmas Carols together and listen to an inspiring Christmas message about Jesus. We'll have childcare and classes for children 3 months through second grade with a Christmas story, crafts, and activities provided. Also, arrive a little early or stay after the service to take pictures with friends and family at our Christmas photo booth. We hope to see you here with us!

Thursday, December 26, 11:30 AM - Toddler Yoga, Norfolk Public Library - Van Wyck Branch, 1368 De Bree Avenue Norfolk, Virginia 23517
Tap into your child’s energy and flexibility as they develop a sense of accomplishment through this interactive physical fitness program. Toddler Yoga is a fun, active way to engage with your child as they become more mobile. You’ll work together on your inner patience, strength, and calmness as you practice your yoga poses side by side. This class is designed for any toddler who is a strong walker. We kindly ask that caregivers are attentive and quiet during the class. Caregivers are invited to participate as well! 

Saturday, December 28, 11:00 AM - Storytime and Activities Featuring The Kindness Book, Chesapeake Barnes & Noble, 1212 Greenbrier Pkwy, Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
No matter what other people choose to do, you can always choose to be kind. This book is the perfect introduction to a timely and timeless topic. Activities to follow, plus, get a coupon for a grilled cheese sandwich with milk or juice for $4 (Café stores only).

December 31, 4 PM - Old Towne Portsmouth Scottish Walk, Monumental United Methodist Church
Modeled after Scotland?s Hogmanay Festival, the walk is a day when townspeople honor their community and merchants, wishing good luck and prosperity in the coming year. Join the procession of families, friends, and visitors led by bagpipe-and-drums. Gather at 4 pm at Monumental United Methodist Church at the corner of Queen and Washington Streets.  High St., Portsmouth. 757-393-8483 

Wednesday, January 8, 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM - Toddler Stay and Play, Stryker Center, 412 N Boundary St., Williamsburg, VA
Toddler Stay and Play is a drop-in playdate program for children from 18 months to 3 years.  Stay after storytime or just come in for the playdate to chat with other caregivers while your toddler has fun with our toy collection.
Our library encourages being safe and inclusive for everyone. No food is allowed during storytime and stay and play. Thank you for understanding.

Friday, January 10, 6 – 8 PM - Happiest Baby on The Block, CHKD Health Center at Landstown, 1924 Landstown Centre Way, Virginia Beach
This FREE two-hour class for expectant parents will help navigate the first 2 -3 months of baby's life while learning how to soothe even the fussiest infant in minutes and help babies sleep longer. Parents will learn about the calming reflex, the cuddle cure and the "5 Ss." All participants will receive "The Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD by Dr. Harvey Karp and a soothing sounds CD. Space is limited and registration is required.

Saturday, January 11, 11AM - ZUMBA KIDS, Live 360 Studio, Level One near Dillard's, MacArthur Mall
Join Tanecia and Tamerah for a free Zumba® kids demo class! This fun-filled experience offers original Zumba® rhythms and choreography. We break down steps, play games and activities, and explore cultural elements of dance. This program helps develop a healthy lifestyle and incorporate fitness as a natural part of children's lives by making fitness fun. Classes incorporate key childhood development elements like leadership, respect, team work, confidence, self-esteem, memory, creativity, coordination, balance, cultural awareness.

Saturday, January 11, 10 AM – 1 PM, Military Family Day at MOCA
FREE admission! Military and veteran families are invited to create, explore, enjoy art, and most important, have fun together! Make art together in MOCA’s studios, explore the galleries, and experience the interactive ARTlab.

Sunday, January 12, 3 – 4 PM - Benjamin Franklin and the Age of Experiments , Williamsburg Library, 515 Scotland St.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin, as portrayed by B.J. Pryor, tells stories of his life, of the age in which he lived, and of scientific progress he witnessed and in which he participated.

Monday, January 13, 7:00 – 9:30 PM - Family-to-Family Class, 509 S Rosemont Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23452-4131, United States
A series of 12 weekly classes structured to help family members, partners and significant others understand and support individuals living with mental illness while maintaining their own well-being. Free, registration is required. For more info, contact our office at 757-499-2041.

Friday, January 17, 5 – 6 PM - Kids & Kiddush, Ohef Sholom Temple, 530 Raleigh Ave, Norfolk, VA
Come join us to celebrate Shabbat with a kid friendly dinner at 5:00 PM, kid's service, crafts and other activities. This is a FREE event however your RSVP is requested!

Saturday, January 18, 11 AM – 1 PM - Beginning Genealogy 101, Norfolk Public Library, 111 W Ocean View Ave
Learn the basic tools and resources you need to research your family’s history. Space is limited to 45 per class, so registration is required.

Saturday, January 18, 10 AM – 1 PM - Funfest Saturdays at AFCC: Let it GLOW! Abram Frink Jr. Community Center, 8901 Pocahontas Trl.
Mad Science presents Color Lab! Learn about the colors of the rainbow and experiment with your creative side during an activity on color mixing. We’ll have two workshops, limited to 25 children each; one at 10:30 a.m., and one at 11:45 a.m. But come anytime between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to make your own jumbo snowflakes, jewelry, and glow-in-the-dark slime. Free pizza and ice cream at noon. Call 757.259.7748 for more information. Funfest Saturdays at the Abram Frink Jr. Community Center are all about making STEAM fun! STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math – all the areas kids love to explore. Each month we’ll present a different STEAM-related program along with hands-on activities and crafts, designed with school-aged kids in mind, and made possible by the generous support of the Friends of Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation. We’ll have free pizza and ice cream at noon at each event. Call 757.259.7748 for more information.

Monday, January 20, 4PM - 6PM - PAINT THE ICE, MacArthur Center
Kids of all ages, adults and artists alike are invited to MacArthur On Ice on to help us Paint the Ice. Paint will be provided and your inner creative artist is encouraged to get creative on the ice. When all art is completed, you'll see what a beautiful and large art rendering everyone created!

Tuesday, January 21, 10:00 – 11:30 AM - Tinkergarten Trial Class, Huntington Park, Riverpark Road, Newport News, VA 23607
Tinkergarten is the most amazing kids class -- it’s focused on learning and skill-building through outdoor play. The program is designed to help kids develop really important skills - we think about it as ready to learn, ready to thrive and ready for anything.

Tuesday, January 21, 6:30 – 8:00 PM - Newport News Family Support Group for Teens and Adults with Autism, Penninsula School for Autism
Are you a parent, grandparents, sibling, or spouse of an adult on the Autism Spectrum? If so, then please join us! Adults on the spectrum are welcome to join their family members. This group is facilitated by parent volunteer, Deb Hotaling, at the Peninsula School at the Faison Center.

Tuesday, January 21, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM - Nurturing Parents of Children ages Birth - 4, 100 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton, VA 23669
This 12-week program is designed to meet the needs of families with children aged 4 and under. Learn more about: Normal Childhood Development, Establishing Nurturing Routines, Positive Discipline, And much more. Hampton residents are free: fee for non-residents

Tuesday, January 21, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM - Nurturing Parents of Children ages 5-12, 100 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton, VA 23669
Healthy Families invites families with children between 5 and 12 yrs old to come and learn in our 12 week program. Parent's topics: Family rules, Encourage appropriate behavior, Effective communication, Stress management. Youth's topics: Gaining self-control, Working with feelings, Problem solving, Social strategies. Hampton residents are free: fee for nonresidents

January 24-26, - 2020 Winter Wildlife Festival , Princess Anne Recreation Center, 1400 Nimmo Parkway, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456
Witness winter wildlife all around Virginia Beach; whether it’s following fascinating bird activity, exploring the natural areas of our community or the musings of harbor seals. Learn what it takes to properly observe and identify wildlife in their natural settings.
Free Exhibit Hall: Available Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. for all ages
Free Children's Activities: Available Saturday during exhibit hall and Sunday afternoon
Excursions: Various options daily. Register online; additional fees may apply
Keynote Speaker: Friday at 6 - 8:30 p.m. at the Zeider American Dream Theater 4509 Commerce Street Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Welcome Sharon ‘Birdchick’ Stiteler as the 2020 keynote speaker at the 10th Anniversary Winter Wildlife Festival!​ This presentation is free and open to the public; no registration required. In celebration of our 10th anniversary, the reception will include light refreshments, a cash bar and a silent auction. Join us as we toast this milestone! Presented by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
For additional information about the festival, keynote, excursion schedules, workshops, and more; please visit www.VBgov.com/winterwildlife

Saturday, January 25, 9 AM – 5 PM - Winter Wildlife Exhibit Hall & Children's Activities, Princess Anne Recreation Center
Stop by Princess Anne Recreation Center for the Winter Wildlife Festival 10th Anniversary Exhibit Hall to check out the vendors and environmental exhibitors, walk-up workshops, live animals, children's activities and raffles! Free admission & parking. Walk-Up Workshops - All workshops are free and last approximately one hour. Pre-registration is preferred and begins on November 15, 2019.

Thursday, February 6, 5 PM - Little Creek - Family Fun Nights, JEB Little Creek Library, 1481 D St., Bldg. 3016, Virginia Beach, VA 23459
Join us at the Little Creek Library for Family Fun Nights on Thursday, February 6. Come hang out for a fun night of games, crafts, foosball, pool, and movies. Plenty of things to do for the whole family. No registration is necessary. For more information, please call 757-462-7691.

Saturday, February 8, 3 – 5 PM - TR Alley Kids, Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism, 1224 Progressive Dr.
Join us and learn how to take turns, socialize with peers and learn bowling skills. We will encourage independent learning so active parent participation is not required.

Thursday, February 27, 10:30 AM - KinderSTEM - Help Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten!, Norfolk Public Library - Little Creek Branch
KinderSTEM is a fun, interactive program that teaches children colors, shapes, letters, numbers and other basic concepts through group activities, books and hands-on exploration at individual learning stations.
(Preschool, School Age)


ABOUT BRIGHT BY TEXT

bbt best teacher

According to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, in the early years a child’s brain is developing at a faster rate than it will at any other point in their life. The interactions that a child has with adult caregivers at this stage sets the foundation upon which all later learning, behavior, and health depends. “Adult caregiver interactions in the early years of life are so critical for child development,” said Bright by Three President and CEO Jean McSpadden. “We want parents to have the best research-based information right at their fingertips.”

Bright by Text helps parents and caregivers make the most out of these interactions by illustrating fun and easy activities, providing positive parenting tips and resources, tips for aiding a child’s physical development, and through trusted and valued content from PBS. The program is proven to build nurturing caregiver-child relationships, and positively impact a child’s healthy development and school readiness.

In addition to expert content , Bright by Text includes messages about events and resources specific to Eastern Virginia, like free museum days, health clinics and preschool open enrollment periods. Text messages are available in English or Spanish and participants receive 3 to 5 text messages per week. Each message includes a link to a landing page with more detail, short modeling videos and links to related resources. 

Text the word WHRO to 274448 to sign up.

“It’s really exciting to have a service like this as a first time parent! There is a ton of information out there, but Bright by Text gives you simple, easy to use, and helpful information that has scientific backing. They’ve done the information sorting for you, and it’s a huge relief for expectant parents.”
- Derek, an expectant father and subscriber of Bright by Text.