“Kids in the Valley, Adventuring” Celebrates Five Years

ROANOKE — Goody, goody, yell the kiddies.

That’s what parents hear when it is time for a meeting of Kids in the Valley, Adventuring, known as KIVA for short. The family-friendly group holds an outdoor play date for kids and their parents once a month.

On Jan. 27, the group reached five years of adventuring, which called for a celebration. After a book reading and snack, the group hiked to the Mill Mountain Star from the Mill Mountain Discovery Center.

“We’ve had a wonderful time with KIVA,” said parent Melissa Perler of Salem, who was there with her daughters Larkin, 9, and Hadyn, 14. She said participation reinforced her family’s active lifestyle. She added she appreciates having planned, outdoor events set up in advance and going with lots of other people.

“It’s a lot of support for families,” she said. “You just show up.”

Chip Donahue, a third-grade teacher at Glen Cove Elementary School who runs KIVA with his wife, Ashley, a real estate agent, said more than 100 events have taken place. When they circulate a message to the KIVA community, it goes to 700 families by email and Facebook. The couple, both 39, has three children.

This adventuring is well beyond taking a few steps in the park and then finding some place to sit down. Groups have hiked along the Appalachian Trail with snow on the ground and had tea. Hiking at the Peaks of Otter, they encountered a snake climbing…
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