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Sign up for the Gold Rush … Summer Camp 2022 here!

Every year the leaders at  Apple Tree Learning Center plan a specially-themed summer camp that is sure to entertain, educate and elevate every camper to a new level of confidence!

This year our teachers have a whole summer filled with excitement as we lead you on a journey of discovery with fun activities.  We have field trips for our 4yr and School age groups, water play, cooking projects, science projects, in house events and crafts. This daily adventure will include fun, learning, and timeless Bible stories .

Saddle up for a summer filled with gold nuggets of truth about our Rock of Ages!

The greatest benefit of our annual summer camp program is that it prepares your child to walk into the school year with even more knowledge, confidence and motivation to succeed in the classroom.

If you are searching for the perfect SUMMER CAMP HOME for your child, please contact our: Suffolk —(757) 539-9000, Greenbrier Academy (757) 547-9530, Mt Pleasant (757) 410-8532, and Hickory (757) 410-7722 locations for enrollment. 

We are here to answer your questions so that you can learn more about all of the plans that we have for your child to have fun with their friends exploring, dreaming, thinking, creating, and most importantly … a summer filled with learning and fun!


How Does Smiling Affect Your Health?

If you type “smiling makes you…” into your search engine the results immediately give insight into why a simple smile is so contagious. The search results for the benefits of smiling includes “smiling makes you live longer”, “smiling makes you look younger,” and even, “smiling makes you more attractive!” But there is one health benefit at the root of a smile, making people live longer and look younger and that is happiness.

Happiness is a common goal that almost every human strives for every day. We seek it through our careers, finances, family life and hobbies, but there are many conflicting arguments about what true happiness really is and how we can best achieve it.
Not only does smiling release serotonin, the neurotransmitter connected to happiness, to create positive feedback and emotions, but studies show that positive emotions can lower a stress-induced heart rate increase (whether it’s authentic or not!) This means that by reducing your stress-symptoms with a smile, you’re also reducing the negative health effects that go along with stress, like high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue and a decreased immune system response.
So, the next time you’re in a stressful situation, put on a big smile! It doesn’t matter if you need to look at a funny video or photo, or force a smile that engages the muscles around your eyes and mouth – both will be effective in inducing feelings of happiness and help your health in the long run.
You can also use this knowledge to help others who may be feeling stressed or unhappy. Even seeing someone else smile can uplift our mood, but smiles are contagious, and someone else is likely to mirror your happiness with a smile in return!

Six Tips To Avoid Seasonal Allergies

Spring is full of sunshine, blooming flowers, and, unfortunately, pollen. Pollen is a very fine powdery substance that is carried from plant to plant by the wind, insects, and other pollinators. As trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers begin to grow in the spring, the amount of pollen in the air increases dramatically, triggering seasonal allergies in millions of people. If seasonal allergies have you sniffling, itching your eyes, and feeling rundown, take these steps to keep your symptoms at bay:


  1. Take allergy medications before symptoms start. It takes a few weeks for antihistamines and corticosteroids to become fully effective. If you typically suffer from seasonal allergies, begin taking these medications regularly well before spring gets underway.


  1. Avoid the allergen. When possible, stay inside on days that have a high pollen count and on dry, windy days when pollen will be swirling around. If you’re lucky, maybe you can convince someone to do your yardwork and mow your lawn for you!


  1. Shower before bed. If you spend any amount of time outdoors, shower off before you go to sleep each night. This will remove pollen particles from your hair and body and will ensure you’re not bringing the pollen to your bedsheets where you could be breathing it in all night long.


  1. Keep doors and windows closed. Since pollen particles are miniscule, they can easily make their way through a window screen into your home. Bedroom windows should remain closed as much as possible to prevent pollen from dusting your bed and clothing.


  1. Use allergy filters in your HVAC unit. Choose high-quality air filters designed to trap allergens. Inspect the filter regularly and change it when it is visibly dirty, especially during the pollen-filled spring months.
  2. Wear a mask. These days, wearing a mask doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore. If you do have to be outdoors on a high pollen count day, consider covering your nose and mouth with a mask so you don’t inhale pollen.

Celebrate Pi Day on March 14!

March 14 marks the annual celebration of Pi Day. Embraced by math lovers everywhere, this unique day recognizes the irrational number Pi (or ℼ). Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, which is always 3.14. Hence, we celebrate Pi Day on March 14. Around the world, people commemorate advances in math on Pi Day, and you can take part too with these fun activities.


Create a DIY pizza pie bar.

Set up a pizza making station at home to celebrate Pi Day. Give each person a pre-made crust and allow them to customize their pizza with toppings of their choice. Encourage pizza makers to incorporate the ℼ symbol or other mathematical designs (think fractions or addition problems) with their toppings.


Watch a math-themed movie.

Movies about math cover many topics, making it easy to find one to enjoy! For older viewers, watch Good Will Hunting, 21, Moneyball or A Brilliant Young Mind. Great family-friendly math-inspired films include Life of Pi, Hidden Figures, and Queen of Katwe.


Have a pie eating contest.

Gather your friends and family for an old-fashioned pie eating contest. Make mini pies of your choice or go all out with regular sized pies. While the first person to finish their pie is the ultimate winner, be sure to have an award on hand for the messiest eater as well!



You don’t have to eat or watch a movie to commemorate Pi Day. Find a 3.14-mile route in your neighborhood and go for a run, walk, or jog in honor of the world’s great mathematicians. If you prefer interval training, use 3.14 to guide your sets.


Play Pi games.

Pi-themed games can be played by people of all ages! Since Pi is related to circles, find as many perfectly round circles as possible throughout the day. If words are more your thing, have a contest to see who can come up with the most words that begin with “pi-” in a set amount of time.

Create Your Own Cozy Book Nook

What could be better than a dedicated space to dive into a book and escape from the world for a bit? Whether you have a corner, a closet or even just an empty wall space available, you can create a cozy area for snuggling up with a good book. With a few key elements, you can create a book nook you’ll never want to leave.


Ensure adequate lighting. Proper lighting is especially important when reading. If possible, set your reading area by a window to utilize natural light. Floor lamps or wall-mounted lights are great choices to provide task lighting for a book nook. Want a fun vibe for your space? Add white or colored string lights to draw you to the reading nook.

Set up a comfortable seating area. To encourage spending lots of time in your reading nook, a comfy place to curl up with a book is key. Consider an oversized chair, chaise lounge, bench seat, indoor swing chair or a bean bag chair. Place an end table near your seat to hold a drink, snack, or your phone. And don’t forget to add pillows and plush blankets to make your book nook extra cozy.

Personalize with accessories and décor. Decorate your book nook to match the mood you want. If the reading space is for kids, entice them with bright colors and bold patterns. Design your space to mimic the feel of your favorite books or go classic by hanging reading-themed pictures or famous book quotes on the wall. To separate your space from the rest of the room, hang a canopy to provide ambiance and privacy.


Add books! What’s a reading nook without books? While you don’t have to create a full library, plan for a traditional bookshelf, wall shelves, a rolling cart or even a small basket to house your books. If you prefer to read your books on an e-reader, keep your charging wire and a USB wall charger in your reading nook.


Meditations and Relaxations for the Whole Family

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays—parties, late nights, and road trips—adults and kids alike savor the opportunity to slow down. As normal activities resume, embrace the slower pace and spend time together as a family. Try these meditations and relaxations to create a calming atmosphere.

Intentional Breathing

The simple act of intentional breathing can go a long way in relaxing your body. Teach family members tricks for breathing. You can do five-finger breathing in which you trace the outline of your fingers with an in and out breathing pattern. Or try hot air balloon breathing where you breathe in through the nose and then exhale as much as possible as if you were filling up a hot air balloon.


Guided Meditations

Guided meditations are helpful to focus your thoughts. Some versions provide prompts to relax the body, while others offer positive affirmations that you can carry with you throughout the day. You can find guided meditations on YouTube or use a meditation app for your smartphone or tablet.


Classical Music

Listening to relaxing music has a calming effect on the body. Slower-paced music can relax your mind and body and cause you to feel less stressed. Classical, smooth jazz, or soft pop songs are effective, so turn on these tunes while cooking dinner or relaxing in the evening.



The wonderful thing about yoga is that it can be done by just about anyone, whether you are a kid, adult, or senior. If you’re a beginner, start with easy poses that provide a great stretch and improve your balance and flexibility. Adjust the basic yoga moves to fit your range of motion.


Outdoor Time

Spending time in nature has a calming physical effect on the body. Outdoor activities can improve your mood and combat anxiety and depression. If you can’t find the time or it’s too cold to head outdoors, listen to nature sounds like a rainstorm or rolling ocean waves to reap similar benefits.


ATLC Holiday Closings

Dear Apple Tree Learning Center families,

Our centers will be closed on the following dates during the upcoming holidays:

  • Friday, December 24
  • Monday, December 27
  • Friday, December 31
Please be sure to join us for the following holiday events:
  • Live Facebook Christmas Program
  • Santa Visit
  • Christmas Parties

Family Gift Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank!

Gift-giving is a staple of the holiday season. It’s a way to show your gratitude and appreciation for your loved ones. However, buying gifts for an entire family can be costly. Simplify your gift-giving this year by choosing a budget-friendly gift that all members of the family can enjoy.

Specialty Food
A delicious treat is always a win. Up your game by gifting a food item with a unique twist, like gourmet popcorn seasoning, a sampling of real maple syrups or hot chocolate bombs. When in doubt, stop by your local bakery and gift your favorite cookies or cupcakes.

Board games, yard games, card games, puzzles…the options are endless when it comes to choosing a fun activity-focused gift for the family. Group multiple games together to appeal to all members of the family or add special edible treats to kick family game night up a notch.

Matching Pajamas
Everyone in the family will be cozy this holiday with a new set of matching pajamas. Purchase PJs that reflect the family’s style: classic, fun, or over-the-top. You can even get a set of pajamas for the family dog!

Year-in-Review Video
While a year-in-review video may be time consuming to put together, it is an inexpensive way to give a gift. Compile photos and videos from throughout the year and set them to a fun soundtrack. Everyone will love looking back at the fun memories and appreciate the good times all over again.

Local Membership
Give the gift of year-long outings with a membership to a local attraction, like a museum, zoo, or waterpark. The recipients of your gift will have many fun-filled days throughout the year and will think of you each time they use their membership.

Cooking and Dining Items
Meals are a great way to bring the family together, so why not make it exciting? Gift your favorite family an ice cream maker, fun taco holders or a character-inspired waffle maker. The whole family will want to help in the kitchen!

Give Thanks By Giving Back!

During the weeks leading up to AND surrounding Thanksgiving, we are often focused on what we are thankful for, and to whom we wish to give thanks. But there are also other things we can give! November is a great time to look back on the year and determine who and what helped us throughout the months, but it is also the time to help others. Here are a few ways that you can give to others during the holidays:

While you can donate to any organization year-round, the holidays bring more specific efforts give to children and families. Contact your local shelters, food banks and soup kitchens to find out what items they need at the moment. If you find your holiday schedule is too busy for local donations, many popular seasonal donation boxes for toys, canned goods or even spare change can be found at grocery stores and libraries for convenient drop-off.

With all of those donations coming in during the holidays, organizations will need more volunteers to help with sorting efforts. If the volunteer roster is full at your local foodbank or soup kitchen, there are still plenty of ways to get involved- look for park cleanups, charity runs or animal shelters that always need extra hands.

Small Gestures:
Because we may tend to look for larger ways to give, we may forget about small gestures to help our friends and family during the holidays. Try bringing in treats to the office or your child’s teachers, or calling a friend who you haven’t spoken to in a while to check in. Sometimes the smallest acts can uplift and motivate those who really need it.

It’s Time For A Change: Setting Goals for the Whole Family


With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy for family members to focus on their individual goals, like a big project at work or making the soccer team. If you’re looking to bring your loved ones closer together, try setting a family goal! Working together to achieve a goal will allow you to spend more time together and have something to look forward to completing. What’s more, parents can model behaviors that will allow their children to successfully achieve their own goals later in life.


Stumped on where to begin? Consider these family goals to get started:


  • Plan a “Family Fun Day” every month. Set aside a day each month for your family to spend quality time together. Set a budget, brainstorm ideas, and decide on an activity as a family unit. As tempting as it may be to invite along friends, keep this activity family-only to make it more special.
  • Participate in a community service project. Choose a cause your family is passionate about and research ways you can volunteer. Giving back to the community sets a great example for kids, provides help to those in need, and makes you feel good!
  • Start a new family hobby. Spend time together as a family by doing something you all enjoy. Whether it’s doing a nightly crossword puzzle, baking sweet treats, or going on a bike ride, as long as your family is together and having fun, you’ve succeeded!
  • Set up a family savings fund. If your family has big plans, like going on a vacation or purchasing the latest video game system, encourage everyone to contribute to the cause. Place a piggy bank in your kitchen and have family members add money to help reach the goal more quickly.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. The foundation for a healthy lifestyle starts at home. Create family goals to eat more fruits and veggies, increase your physical activity and get enough sleep. Rely on family members to hold each other accountable.

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