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How to combat racism in your community

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January 21 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a time to honor the leader who inspired millions during the Civil Rights Movement to end racial segregation and discrimination.

In 2019, take this national day of service to think about what you can do to combat racism in your community. Although we’ve come a long way since the 1960s, studies show that Americans of color still face job, housing and social discrimination. Here’s what you can do to help promote racial tolerance:

1. Educate yourself. Read about the history of slavery and racial oppression in the U.S. and keep up with news relating to social issues, especially around where you live. Make sure to consult a variety of sources and seek out different viewpoints.

2. Speak up against racist stereotypes. Don’t stay silent if you hear someone make a racist joke or use derogatory language. Gently point out why the remark is offensive — it’s not “just a joke” if it mocks someone because of their race.

3. Spend time with people of different backgrounds. Participate in activities that introduce you to people from different racial and cultural backgrounds living in your area. It helps foster a tolerant and inclusive community.

4. Volunteer for organizations that fight racism. Support organizations that focus on racial inequality or issues that disproportionately affect racial minorities, such as poverty, voter suppression and police brutality.

If you’re a parent, teacher or manager, talk to your children, students or team about MLK Day and what you can do to fight racism in your home, school or workplace. Having open and respectful conversations about race helps keep Dr. King’s legacy alive.

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The Wonderful World of Rudolpha: Mistral and the magic blanket

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Mistral the penguin is very excited when he arrives at the North Pole Animal Day Care. He quickly says hello to his teacher, Rudolpha the reindeer, and then runs to see his friends, holding a bag.

“I found the magic blanket!” he announces, jumping up and down.

The other children look confused. They’ve never heard of a magic blanket before.

“The one from the legend?” asks Rudolpha.

Mistral is amazed. “You know penguin legends?”

“What’s the legend?” asks Storm the fox impatiently.

Rudolpha invites the children to gather in a circle around her and tells them the tale.

“Many years ago, the Enchanted Penguin wove a magic blanket for his wife who was very sick. This special blanket had the power to keep the wearer perfectly comfortable; not too hot and not too cold, no matter the weather.

“After his wife got better, the other penguins tried to claim the blanket for themselves and conflict overtook the community. So, to put an end to the matter, the Enchanted Penguin hid the blanket somewhere in the North Pole. No one knows where he hid it and it hasn’t been seen for many years”

“But I found it,” declares Mistral, “and I’m going to give it to my Grandpa Gale for Christmas. He’s old and can’t flap his wings and walk in place to stay warm anymore, so he can never take me fishing, even when I lend him my warmest hat.”

“Where was it?” asks Frost, the snowy owl.

“In Floe Creek?” guesses Storm.

“No,” says Mistral.

“On the Windy Plains?” proposes Bianca the rabbit.

“Nope.”

“I know!” declares Frost, “on Mystery Beach!”

Mistral shakes his head. “I went to the source of One Thousand Waterfalls with my cousin Pampero and we searched for hours. We turned over huge boulders, swam in the pools of each waterfall —”

“Of all 1,000 waterfalls?” interrupts Snowflake, incredulous.

“You know, there aren’t actually that many waterfalls, the area is just called that because there are many small falls in the area,” explains Rudolpha.

“Anyway, it took us forever,” continues Mistral, “but finally, behind the highest waterfall, we discovered a cave. The blanket was there, inside a chest.” He pulled out his treasure from his backpack.

“Wow,” intone his friends as they gaze at the shimmering blanket.

“Your grandpa is going to love his gift, Mistral. You should be very proud of yourself,” Rudolpha tells him.

The little penguin smiles, thinking about how happy Grandpa Gale will be when he opens his gift on Christmas morning—and about the next time they go fishing at Floe Creek.

Written by Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Cyan Caruso-Comas

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The Wonderful World of Rudolpha: Jack and the frozen pipes

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It’s exceptionally cold today in the North Pole. Despite the weather, Rudolpha the reindeer, teacher at the North Pole Animal Day Care decides to leave for work early. When she arrives, she turns on the tap to wash her hooves, but no water comes out.

Luckily, Rudolpha knows just who to call in a situation like this. Pressing a button on the intercom, she calls Jack the elf-of-all-trades.

“Jack, there’s no water coming out of the tap! Can you come to the day care? The children will be here in half an hour!”

“Count to three and I’ll be there!” answers the elf, happy to be of service.

Exactly three seconds later, Jack arrives with his toolbox. “I hope the pipes aren’t frozen. Have you checked if the toilets and sinks in the bathroom are working?”

“Not yet,” admits Rudolpha. “I’ll do it right now.”

A few seconds later, the teacher comes back looking discouraged. The pipes are definitely frozen. Jack scratches his head as he thinks about what to do.

“We’ll have to warm up the pipes so they thaw. What’s the warmest thing I can think of? I know. The scarves knit by Mrs. Claus,” says the elf. “I’ll get my dear Nougat to help me. We’ll ask all the elves to lend us their scarves. After all, this is an emergency.”

“Excellent idea,” says Rudolpha, “but please hurry. I really need running water today.”

Knowing the smartest elf couple in the North Pole are taking care of the problem, the reindeer begins to get her supplies for the day ready. Less than 15 minutes later, Jack and Nougat arrive pulling a sled piled with dozens of colourful scarves behind them. Working together, they wrap all the day care’s pipes in the warmest knit scarves in the world.

As Jack thought, the polar sheep’s wool has an immediate effect. To Rudolpha’s relief, the water starts to flow moments before the children arrive.

“Good morning, Rudolpha, good morning Jack, good morning Nougat!” call the children as they enter the room. “What are we doing today?”

“Today, we’re going to be paw and wing painting!” answers the teacher.

“I see why you need water today,” laughs Jack. “Paw and wing painting is messy business!”

Waving at Rudolpha and the children, the handy elf and his partner leave the day care arm in arm, happy to have saved the day.

Written by Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Cyan Caruso-Comas

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The Wonderful World of Rudolpha: Bianca’s bad day

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Bianca is usually a happy-go-lucky rabbit who likes to make her friends at the North Pole Animal Day Care laugh. Even the teacher, Rudolpha the reindeer, finds her antics amusing. But this afternoon, Bianca is quieter than usual.

She must just be tired after bouncing around and climbing all over the place all morning, thinks Rudolpha.

The next morning, Bianca arrives late. She looks different than usual. She’s wearing a necklace made of bells, elf shoes and a sequined tutu. And that’s not all! She’s colored her beautiful white fur with green and red markers. After looking at her for a couple of seconds, the animal children return to making their crafts.

Rudolpha quietly asks Bianca why she’s wearing her Christmas costume, since the Christmas show is still days away.

“Because I LOVE CHRISTMAS!” shouts the rabbit so everyone can hear her. “It’s my favorite holiday. I wish it was Christmas every day!”

“It’s my favorite holiday, too,” agrees Rudolpha.

All day, Bianca sings Christmas carols, draws Christmas trees and looks at Christmas books. She seems to be fixated on the coming holiday. Concerned, Rudolpha invites Bianca to sit next to her for a chat.

“Bianca, you’re acting differently today. Is there something you’d like to tell me?” asks the teacher.

“I love Christmas. I really love it,” says the little rabbit.

And then, to Rudolpha’s surprise, Bianca starts to cry.
Hugging her close, the teacher whispers in her student’s ear, “tell me what’s wrong and we’ll find a solution together, okay?”

“Yesterday, the other kids were making fun of me. They said that rabbits have nothing to do with Christmas. They even called me an Ea-easter Bunny!” Bianca wails.

Rudolpha nods. “And to show that you belong here in the North Pole, you decided to wear your costume and color your fur?”

“Yes,” says the rabbit, wiping her eyes and sniffling.

Rudolpha explains to Bianca and the other children that everyone has a place in the North Pole, no matter what type of animal they are. She also reminds them that even if they don’t intend to be mean, teasing can sometimes hurt other people’s feelings.

Sorry they had upset their friend, the children apologize to the rabbit.

The next morning, Bianca arrives at the day care with clean, white fur, a smile on her face and no Christmas costume.

Written by Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Cyan Caruso-Comas

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The Wonderful World of Rudolpha: Jackson and Olivia’s prank

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This morning, Santa Claus visits the North Pole Animal Day Care. The children are happy about the visit because the jolly man likes to tell stories and is happy to answer their many questions.

“Santa, do human children go to day care too?” asks Frost the snowy owl.

“Ho, ho, ho! Many of them do, yes, and they have wonderful teachers just like you,” Santa tells them, winking at Rudolpha the reindeer, their teacher.

“Santa, when you visit their homes on Christmas Eve to bring them their gifts, can the human children see you?” Storm the fox wants to know.

“Not usually, but sometimes they catch me. Ho, ho, ho! Let me tell you all a story.” The children gather round to listen.

“Last Christmas, when I was delivering gifts to the world’s children, I found myself with one last stop to make, the house where Jackson and Olivia live. They’d been very good that year, so the elves had made them very nice presents: a ukulele for Jackson and a drum for Olivia. They were going to be so happy.

“But when I got to their house, I saw the strangest thing. The gifts were already under their tree. Had I already been to their house? I looked in my big red sack and their presents were still in there. Had the elves prepared the same gifts twice? I didn’t understand. Then, I heard the voices of the two children.

“‘Santa, you look confused!’ said Olivia, laughing.

“‘Unwrap the presents, Santa, they’re for you!’ said Jackson.

“I couldn’t help but chuckle at these clever and mischievous children as I opened the boxes. Instead of a ukulele, I found a box of cookies and instead of a drum, I found a bag of carrots for my reindeer! Jackson and Olivia had just played a wonderful trick on me! Ho! Ho! Ho!”

Rudolpha and the children laugh and laugh.

“Were the cookies good?” asks Mistral. The penguin has a sweet tooth and loves cookies.

“Ho, ho, ho, yes they were! They were chocolate chip, my favorite.”

After giving everyone a hug goodbye, Santa heads back to his workshop and Rudolpha the reindeer thinks about the pranks she might play on her friend with the big white beard.

Written by Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Cyan Caruso-Comas

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The Wonderful World of Rudolpha: Helping the Star Fairy

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At the North Pole Animal Day Care, the children and their teacher, Rudolpha the reindeer, stretch their limbs after a strenuous game of tag. Suddenly, Jack the elf-of-all-trades barges in.

“The Star Fairy,” he says in a panic, “she tripped on her new dress because it’s too long, and she fell on her wand and broke it in half!” the handy-elf exclaims.

“Will she be able to fix it?” asks Bianca the rabbit, her nose twitching with worry.

“Yes, if she gathers stardust from the North Star. But Santa’s gone with his sleigh and he won’t be home for two days. If the wand isn’t fixed by sunrise tomorrow, she’ll lose all her magic!” Jack tells them.

Frost the owl gasps in horror as Jack continues.

“There’s a broken sleigh in the workshop that I can fix,” he says, “but without your help, I’ll never finish it in time.”

Rudolpha gathers the children and they follow Jack to the workshop, where he starts giving them instructions.

“Frost, you hold this flashlight up high so I can see what I’m doing. Snowflake,” he says to the polar bear, “look in that mirrored cabinet to find four silver bells.”

“Why do you need those?” asks Storm the fox.

“Silver bells allow the sleigh to pick up speed,” Jack explains. “Storm, you can help your friend with that cabinet over there. It’s a mess.

“Mistral,” Jack says, turning to the penguin, “find a pot of wax with a drawing of sleigh runners on it.”

“What about me?” asks Bianca, eager to help.

“You and Rudolpha can look for bumps and holes that need to be fixed.”

The animals and the handy-elf get to work. Jack declares the sleigh ready to take flight just as the Star Fairy arrives.

“Hurry!” Jack says to the fairy as she climbs into the seat. A team of reindeer is harnessed to the sleigh and is ready to fly.

“If we leave quickly, we’ll make it to the North Star before dawn,” the Star Fairy says.

“Good luck,” shout the children as the fairy and the reindeer take off.

Once the sleigh it out of sight, Rudolpha leads the children back to the daycare, where their parents are waiting to pick them up.

The next morning, a jar filled to the brim with a sparkly substance is waiting for them.

“What’s that?” asks Mistral.

“It’s North Stardust,” the teacher answers. “The Star Fairy brought it here early this morning to thank us for our help.”

“So was she able to fix her wand?” Snowflake asks.

“Yes, her magic is saved. And thanks to her gift, we’re going to have a beautiful Christmas tree this year!”

Written by Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Cyan Caruso-Comas

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The Wonderful World of Rudolpha: The lost button

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The children at the North Pole Animal Day Care are decorating paper snowmen. While they cut, paste and color, their teacher, Rudolpha the reindeer, notices that Frost the snowy owl looks sad.

“Is there a problem with your snowman, Frost?” she asks kindly.

“I wanted red buttons but there are just yellow ones left. Yellow’s not a Christmas color!” Frost tells her.

“Yellow is a great color for a snowman,” Rudolpha tells the young owl. “I’ll tell you all the story of Shiver and you’ll see why.” She gathers her students around her and begins to tell the tale.

“Shiver was a young snowman who wore three buttons: a red one, a blue one and a yellow one. One morning, he couldn’t find the yellow one and he was very upset.

“‘Mom! I can’t find my yellow button!’

“‘That’s too bad,’ said his mother. ‘You can wear one of mine, if you’d like.’ She showed him her collection of green and blue buttons.

“‘No! I want my yellow one. It’s my favorite button, and I wanted to wear it with my yellow scarf to the Christmas party tonight!’

“Shiver searched everywhere for his missing button. He looked in his ice fort, in his father’s sleigh that he’d used to play Santa Claus and even in his mother’s frost garden where he’d picked ice-candies. That’s when Flurry, his new neighbor, joined him.

“‘What are you looking for?’ she asked.

“‘I lost my favorite yellow button! I wanted to wear it to the Christmas party tonight.’ Shiver explained.

“‘A yellow button? I found one this morning when I was on my way to the park! There was no one around, so I brought it home to add to my collection. You can come over to see if it’s yours.’

“When they got to Flurry’s house, she showed Shiver her collection of yellow buttons. There were dozens of them, all different sizes and shapes. Shiver’s beautiful button lay on top. Overjoyed, he picked it up.

“Seeing how happy Shiver was, Flurry said, ‘You can take two more buttons to wear to the party tonight, if you’d like. Choose whichever ones you want.’

“And that night, Shiver went to the Christmas party alongside his new friend wearing three beautiful yellow buttons that matched his favorite scarf perfectly.”

Frost is so taken with Rudolpha’s story that he goes back to the craft table and gives his snowman three beautiful yellow buttons and a scarf to match.

Written by Johannie Dufour and Sarah Beauregard
Translated by Cyan Caruso-Comas

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King Cartoons

‘Tis the Season

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Front Royal
38°
Sunny
07:1816:50 EST
Feels like: 37°F
Wind: 3mph NW
Humidity: 55%
Pressure: 30.44"Hg
UV index: 1
SatSunMon
43/25°F
47/38°F
54/53°F

Quotes

Upcoming Events

Dec
7
Sat
10:00 am Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 7 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Come to our extremely popular monthly program that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog. For beginning readers and up. Choose a time slot at registration, which begins[...]
10:00 am Free Pet Adoption Event @ Subaru Dealership
Free Pet Adoption Event @ Subaru Dealership
Dec 7 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Free Pet Adoption Event @ Subaru Dealership
The pet adoption event will be hosted by Subaru of Winchester and feature adoptable pets from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke. This annual event will take place at the Subaru dealership located at[...]
1:00 pm “The Nutcracker” student perform... @ Skyline High School
“The Nutcracker” student perform... @ Skyline High School
Dec 7 @ 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
“The Nutcracker” student performance @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts presents the seasonal classic ballet “The Nutcracker” in Front Royal, Virginia, on December 7, 2019. Italia Performing Arts is pleased to announce its student production of “The Nutcracker”, being brought to the[...]
2:00 pm Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 7 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Discuss This @ Samuels Public Library
Are you inspired by good books, articles, movies, and art? Do you write, draw, or enjoy playing music? If so, join us as we discuss books and share our creations. This is a group for[...]
Dec
8
Sun
2:00 pm R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Dec 8 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Discover The Power of Rise at Randolph-Macon Academy! Join us for an open house on Sunday, December 8th, with tours beginning promptly at 2:00 pm. Families interested in applying for the second semester (January 27,[...]
3:00 pm Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 8 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Valley Chorale of Front Royal (previously Front Royal Oratorio Society) presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “HOME FOR CHRISTMAS” – a program of uplifting sacred and secular selections sure to brighten everyone’s yuletide season.[...]
Dec
10
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 10 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
Dec
11
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 11 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
12
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 12 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
14
Sat
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]