Music Time with Nicole
Join us for interactive, collaborative music making. Learn new songs, play games, dance and explore instruments while bonding with your little one. Appropriate for all ages and abilities – as long as you can giggle and have fun.
Nicole Rodin Jaworski is a musician and mama living in Evanston. She is a trained classical singer with degrees from Rice University and the New England Conservatory of Music. After spending years travelling the country singing opera, Nicole returned to the Chicago area and began to explore additional ways to bring joy, healing and growth to others using music. This pursuit has led to teaching private voice lessons, stage directing and music directing musical theater as well as a study of music therapy.
Yoga Play with Yoli
Join us for a good time with the family through movement, play, storytelling and poses! In yoga we explore our mind-body connection, move, breathe and relax. You can look forward to games, music, partner poses, dance, lots of yoga and even meditation! Feel free to contact Yoli with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoli Maya Yeh (MA, Yoga Therapist) is a life-long seeker who dedicated over twenty years of her life to the study of Yoga & Meditation, Healing Arts, language and Religious Studies. She had a unique upbringing in her family’s Native American tradition, trained as a healer and a visionary. She carried her studies to India at the age of 18, where she began in Tibetan Studies and eventually into close mentorship with a renowned teacher in the Indian Himalayas. After twelve years living in India and Nepal, Yoli returned to Chicago to innovate experiential education programs, continue to lecture at universities and to lead extensive Yoga Therapy practice with adults and children with special needs.
Art Adventures with Angela
This weekly drop in art experience is designed to facilitate creativity development, materials exploration, and an opportunity for children and caregivers to meaningfully connect through engagement in an art process. Each child will be able to create an art piece or contribute to a collaborative group project. All ages and abilities are welcome.
Angela Lyonsmith, ATR-BC, LCPC, is an artist, art therapist, part time faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the graduate art therapy program, doctoral student at Mount Mary University and a proud mother of three fierce & fantastic little girls. She has facilitated art experiences for children and adults for several decades and recognizes both the developmental and resiliency-building benefits of creativity for the human spirit.
Jugamos con Yoga! with Maggie
How does a lion roar in Spanish? How does a rooster greet the sun? In this light-hearted, movement-based storytelling class, we’ll create, play and engage with the Spanish language by embodying characters in popular Latin American children’s stories. Led by an experienced children’s yoga instructor and bilingual storyteller, this drop-in class will support language exploration as we laugh and learn together. No yoga or language background necessary. Come in comfortable clothes and let’s play! Jugamos con yoga!
Maggie Schwalbach is an educator, writer, yoga instructor and kid at heart. Fostering connections and promoting cross-cultural understanding are her life’s passions. In 2008, Maggie received a Master’s of Arts from the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica, where she developed a bilingual curriculum for youth called Media Literacy as an Intervention Strategy for Non-Violence Education. In 2012, she completed her yoga teacher training in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maggie has worked and lived in over ten countries as a consultant, diversity trainer, language instructor, tour guide, international aid worker, community organizer, communications director, festival organizer and journalist. Of all these, her greatest adventure — without a doubt — has been raising her twins. The patience, flexibility and creativity required… The management, leadership and organization expected… The round-the-clock hours…. Boy, oh boy, and little lady, oh little lady… It’s tough to be a parent!!! Recently relocated to Chicago’s North Shore, Maggie is thrilled to be part of the Gather community and hopes to connect with other parents and caregivers trying to survive the first years of parenthood by engaging in activities that support healthy doses of laughter and self-compassion.
Mama Power Hour with Anya
Join Anya Tanyavutti for a chance to connect with other mamas and learn about Anya’s inspiring line of gear for mamas. Mama Power Hour is held on the second Friday of the month from 10:30-11:30am. Check the promotions page for more details. This meet-up is offered in conjunction with Mama Power Gear (www.mamapowergear.com) founded to celebrate motherhood. Come connect, relax, and have fun with other local mamas and their little ones.
Anya Tanyavutti is a mama. She also has a Master’s in Education and has served as a program and project director , strategic planning consultant, and educator. These days, in addition to chasing a toddler and developing Mama Power Gear, she’s working on growing baby number two and nurturing her love for learning and the arts-all of which she enjoys immensely.
Fun with Food! with Mamata
Join Mamata for our newest cooking class! This yummy program combines creativity with tasty treats, teaching kids to have fun with their food. Children learn artistic ways to make healthful eating a blast, as well as cute food crafts for gift giving or to simply make mealtime more enjoyable at home. Each class teaches basic kitchen skills such as rolling and cutting dough, spreading sauces and toppings, and peeling fruits and vegetables. Every session highlights the importance of following directions, sharing equipment, and knowing what goes into our food.
Mamata Reddy is a trained pastry chef, culinary instructor, and cake and cookie artist. After working as a writer and editor in publishing for over a decade, she changed fields and attended the French Pastry School in Chicago. She has worked in restaurants, bakeries, and most recently, taught culinary classes to grade schoolers for 5 years at the Gary Comer Youth Center on Chicago’s South Side. Spoonfoolery is her custom-order cake and decorated cookie business through which she also offers private cooking and baking instruction. Her recipes are original recipes perfected over the years to teach young people how to eat better and enjoy their food. She lives here in Evanston, with her husband and toddler son Zubin, who already knows how to use a whisk!
Tales, Teamwork and Tactile Art with Allison
Explore the world of children’s literature through this interactive story time. Your child will then have the opportunity to participate in a game with their peers as they practice taking turns and becoming part of a group. Finally, watch your child’s creativity shine as they make connections to the story through art making.
Allison Amado is a former Pre-Kindergarten Teacher and Early Childhood Center Director. She has created and implemented early childhood curriculums at various schools in the Chicagoland area. Allison’s passionate about helping young children learn about the world around them through sensory play and active exploration. Currently, she is an energetic Evanston mommy of three under two. Allison is excited to share her love for learning with the Gather community!
Sing & Sign Storytime with Shannon
Come join us for music, movement, and signing story hour with Sign Bright Academy! Miss Shannon will introduce American Sign Language signs with the help of music and stories to caregivers and children ages 0-3! When children’s hands are moving their minds are learning!
Shannon Teresi received her degree in Speech Pathology which is where she first caught the ASL (American Sign Language) bug. She finished school and began a career as a behavioral analyst specializing in early intervention for children with autism. Most of the clients she had the pleasure to work with were non-verbal. She saw the beautiful way that teaching these kiddos to sign could help to decrease their frustrations and help them to break out of their own little worlds and engage with their parents/caregivers some of them for the first time in their lives. After becoming a mother to her 1 year old daughter Lydia and watching her babies eyes brighten as she learned to sign and communicate as young as 9 months of age, she decided to start Sign Bright Academy to share her love of signing with other caregivers and their little ones!
Stories Alive! with Karen Erickson
Young children take delight in hearing and acting stories, especially when they can share that experience with their mom, dad, grandparent, or caregiver. They let their imaginations soar as they transform into animals, objects, or other children like themselves; they find pleasure in the sheer fun of doing the actions and activities along with the characters they are meeting. With Karen, these stories come alive for a treasured experience.
Karen L. Erickson is an author, children’s poet, storyteller, actress and director. She is a national leader in Arts Education who has worked with schools and arts organizations internationally and in 48 of the 50 states. Karen has worked with the Goodman Theater and many Chicago Theaters as an artistic director, stage director, playwright and actress. She has authored 9 plays for young audiences including the recent, “Hazard! Bullies at Work” currently in production. She is a Workshop Leader for the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and provides professional development for teachers across the country through Creative Directions, which she founded in 1991, to improve drama education in the schools.
Coffee Talk with Dr. Sue
Have you wondered how your little one perceives and is making sense of the world around them? Enjoy a cup of delicious coffee with Dr. Sue, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University. Come cognitive development questions and learn about how you can become involved in research at Northwestern’s Infant Cognition Lab.
Sue Hespos, Ph.D. is a cognitive psychologist specializing in change and continuity in cognitive abilities throughout human development. She strives to improve our understanding of fundamental aspects of cognition through research on object representation, number concept, and the neural mechanisms of perception. Her primary interest is to study core perceptual and conceptual capacities that are common to everyone and to learn how these abilities are influenced by language. The National Science Foundation funds her research. She is an avid bicyclist and loves Chicago because there are endless new, cool restaurants to try.