What’s in the News for Toledo Families

The Olander Park System Rebrands
Early this year, The Olander Park System changed its name to Outdoor Sylvania Community Parks to better reflect the five connected parks welcoming the community: Olander Park, Fossil Park, Sylvan Prairie, Whetstone Park and Southview Oak Savanna. The organization’s new tagline, “Explore more”, is accompanied by new branding colors and logo while the mission is the same. Outdoor Sylvania Community Parks wants the community to go outside and explore all the outdoors have to offer. For more information, visit outdoorsylvania.com. —OJ

DeWine Administration proposes new Department of Children and Youth
This new department proposal is expected to be created in July 2023, and will help “reduce duplicative programs in state government while also increasing service delivery and administrative efficiency.” To execute these plans, the new Department of Children and Youth will combine resources from six existing state agencies including: Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), The Department of Education (ODE), Department of Health (ODH), Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Department of Medicaid (ODM) and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMH).

Along with the proposal itself, the DeWine Administration has clarified the new department’s three primary goals consisting of (1) supporting Ohio families, (2) preventing child abuse and neglect and (3) preparing and educating children to ensure readiness for school and beyond. The budget for the proposed department will be sourced mostly from federal funding.

Medicaid in particular will be an important funding element for the new department, considering its focus on children and its role in paying for healthcare services for more than 3 million Ohioans. Visit communitysolutions.com to learn more about Ohio’s new Children and Youth Department. —SK

School of Rock in Perrysburg Brings Rock Lessons for Families
Ron Rothenbuhler recently opened a branch of the School of Rock franchise in Levis Commons.The Perrysburg location will teach students guitar, drums, bass, piano and vocals, while featuring classes for songwriting and performing. It also has several rehearsal spaces and two drum rooms. Perrysburg’s School of Rock classes follow a structure of one weekly private lesson combined with one group rehearsal. School of Rock Perrysburg, Chappel Dr. 567-698-7625 schoolofrock.com —SK

UToledo’s Ritter Planetarium reopens with upgraded projection system 

On March 31, The University of Toledo reopened Ritter Planetarium to the public and introduced its new Digistar 7 state-of-the-art digital projection system. With this new system, the Planetarium is able to offer visitors an upgraded viewing experience, featuring higher quality, 4K imagery, as well as live streamed events and shows from around the world.

Dr. Michael Cushing, a professor of physics and astronomy and director of Ritter Planetarium, shared the new possibilities afforded by the technology, stating, “now we have the ability to do things like fly through the rings of Saturn or take a tour of the Pleiades star cluster.”

The Ritter Planetarium experience includes a live guided tour of the Toledo night sky, an immersive, full-dome show, an open-ended Q&A session, and (weather-permitting) a visit to the Brooks Observatory to use UToledo’s Celestron 14 Edge HD Telescope. Ritter Astrophysical Research, 2855 W Bancroft St. 419-530-2650. utoledo.edu.. —SK


Toledo Zoo introduces twin polar bears 

On Friday, April 28, the Toledo Zoo introduced twin polar bear cubs, Kallik and Kallu, to the Arctic Encounter exhibit. Kallik and Kallu, two male cubs born November 11, 2022, are with  their mother Crystal. According to Michael Frushour, curator of mammals, the cubs stand out among their counterparts and “may be some of the most fun and rambunctious cubs we have ever had here at Toledo Zoo.” The cubs can be visited at the Arctic Encounter daily from 10 am to 5 pm, or viewed on the Zoo’s YouTube via live stream. Toledo Zoo, 2 Hippo Way. 419-385-5721. toledozoo.org —SK


Maumee Valley Country Day School’s Lower School receives Eco Award

The Eco Elementary School Award reflects a school’s efforts to integrate nature into education and extracurricular activities and is presented by the Science Alliance for Valuing the Environment (S.A.V.E.) a non-profit organization at Lourdes that develops sustainability programs for the Toledo area. According to Susan Perzynski, a S.A.V.E. board member, Maumee Valley was selected for the award based on several aspects of its program, including its commitment to ensuring students spend multiple hours outside each week; integration of outdoor and traditional classrooms; leadership opportunities for students and partnerships with local businesses and organizations such as Metroparks Toledo, Toledo Grows, Nature’s Nursery, MacQueen Orchards, area farms and the Butterfly House. Several individual teachers have also been recognized for their dedication to enforcing the Forest school philosophy, which is implemented in schools that consist of nature-based communities focused on learner-led outdoor play to encourage curiosity and exploration. To learn more about S.A.V.E. and Maumee Valley’s selection as an award winner, visit sciencealliancesave.org. —SK