Summer’s just peeking over the horizon throughout most of Ohio, but it’s
already in full bloom and buzzing with children at Granny’s Garden
School in Loveland.
But then again, interjects Roberta Paolo, whom everyone calls Granny, “there’s never an off-season here.”
Paolo developed the program a decade ago after spending time planting
zinnias and marigolds, and harvesting green beans, potatoes and carrots
in her own garden with her two grandchildren.
“I realized the positive effect gardening has on children and adults,”
she says. In 2002, Paolo approached school officials about creating a
garden outside the classroom, and they agreed.
Since taking root on the 25-acre campus of Loveland’s primary and
elementary schools, Granny’s Garden School has flourished. Once a week,
1,700 students in grades one through four, along with 55 teachers and a
host of volunteers, spend part of their day digging garden
planting perennials, weeding and learning in 100 gardens replete with a
variety of vegetables, including green peppers, corn and radishes. The
fruits of their labors are served in the cafeteria and donated to a
local food pantry. Additionally, the group tends the 20 flower plots
filled with both annuals and perennials that dot the campus.
Paolo’s principles of combining nature with nurture are embedded in her
passion. “When I began, all I wanted was for children to be outside, to
be able to pick flowers,” she says. Now Granny and her team use the
garden as a tool for traditional state curriculum subjects, including
mathematics and social studies. Over the years, a nature trail has been
added for community use, and lesson plans have been developed to help
surrounding school systems start and maintain their own gardens.
“We show instead of teach,” Paolo summarizes, “we live it.” And that’s how Granny’s garden grows. — Laura Beans
For more information, visit grannysgardenschool.com.
Grace is partial to brisk nature walks, while Leo and Lilly enjoy
whiling away the afternoon in rocking chairs. Savannah looks forward to
hanging out with friends before tucking into a chicken dinner,
accompanied by wild rice and green beans.
For this 8-year-old golden retriever, pair of 2-year-old domestic
short-haired felines and 9-year-old Wheaten terrier, there’s nothing
like Paws By the Lake Vacation Resort, Spa and Daycare Center in Avon
Lake. Veterinarian Jim Haddad built this palatial lap of luxury onto his
practice two years ago. The addition, he says, was in response to the
growing trend among animal lovers to seek a sumptuous haven for their
pets while they’re away.
“People are very anxious about leaving their animals,” Haddad explains.
“So, our goal is to make this a home away from home, not a traumatic
“Pets are smart,” he adds. “When you’re en route to the vet’s office,
they know it. And, if your dog or cat is anxious, the trembling starts
before you even pull into the parking lot. What we want is for tails to
start wagging when cars turn down our street. We want your pet to be the
one pulling you into our building, not have it be the other way
A look at the amenities available makes it clear why 300 dogs, 40 cats
and a host of other pets, including birds, rabbits, skunks and lizards,
are repeat customers. Replacing traditional cages, private “suites”
along corridors named Bourbon Street, Main Street and Park Place contain
designer beds, plush rugs and TVs tuned to “Animal Planet.” A spa
features an underwater treadmill exerciser, ideal for soothing arthritic
joints, and a heated swimming pool. A massage therapist is also on
duty. Since many pets eat what their owners do, the menu includes a
variety of people foods, ranging from Cheerios and milk to turkey
sandwiches. And homesick parents can see what their four-legged kids are
up to via real-time Internet monitoring.
Haddad recalls the moment he knew the center would be a success: A
couple and their pooch came in for a tour before going on vacation. The
verbal exchange that resulted still elicits a laugh from the
“They loved the concept,” he explains. “So much so that the wife got a
puzzled look on her face, turned to her husband and said, ‘Our dog will
be staying at the Taj Mahal, and you’re taking me camping.
“‘What’s wrong with this picture?’” — Linda Feagler
Paws by the Lake is located at 33757 Lake Rd. in Avon Lake. For more information, call 440/933-5297 or visit pawsbythelakeresort.com.
A True Picture
As any true collector knows, it’s quality, not quantity, that matters.
But Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz possess the best of both worlds.
“It’s been a long journey,” Sylvia says, referring to the more than 50
years she and her husband have collected children’s picture books, a
sojourn that resulted in more than 20,000 titles and a home literally
filled from floor to ceiling with books.
Throughout their respective careers (Kenneth is a retired art education
professor who was prolific in his use of picture books as examples of
art in his lessons; Sylvia is a retired school librarian), and through
their work as picture-book reviewers, the couple amassed a collection
showcasing the works of Eric Carle, Tomie dePaola and Chris Van
Allsburg, along with scores of other award-winning illustrators.
It’s a compilation that would fetch a pretty penny, to be sure. But when
it came time to do something with the books, it wasn’t money the couple
was after: Their goal, as Kenneth puts it, was simply “for the books to
When the Columbus couple went looking for a new home for their
collection, the Kent State University School of Library and Information
Science offered to take the collection off their hands and began the
process of building a top-notch space for it.
“Our house raised itself 3 feet off of the ground,” Sylvia jokes about the weight lift.
And, through a grant from the Rein-berger Foundation, the Marantz
Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art was officially
opened in December 2008.
As one of the world’s only libraries catalogued by illustrator — a nod
to Kenneth’s focus on the books as art — the library is now used
extensively by library science and art students alike.
“It’s a dream,” Kenneth says of seeing his life’s work put to new use. “We couldn’t be happier with this outcome.”— Jennifer Rogers
For more information about the collection, call 330/672-3150 or visit library.kent.edu.