ARLINGTON SCHOOLSEarth Day Fun Run planned at River Legacy ParksThe school district’s energy management department encourages an Earth Day activity each year for students and teachers to raise awareness about environmental issues.This year’s event will be a fun run at River Legacy Parks on April 26. The two goals for the event are promoting environmental awareness and a healthier lifestyle for students and raising money for future energy-awareness activities in the school district.The district’s Energy Committee, composed of representatives from every school and auxiliary building the district, helped facilities reduce utility consumption and costs last year by over 15 percent compared with the previous year. The efforts resulted in a $2 million savings for the district.Online registration for the fun run is available at www.getmeregistered.com.ARLINGTONLecture series to focus on ‘Extraordinary Women’In honor of Women’s History Month, the heroism of women in history and fiction will serve as theme for a series of lectures at the University of Texas at Arlington.The Women’s and Gender Studies program is showcasing its “League of Extraordinary Women” exhibit at the University Center at 300 W. First St.At 7 p.m. March 20, UT Arlington Multicultural Affairs will co-sponsor a panel discussion after a documentary screening of Wonder Woman! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. The showing will take place at University Hall Room 108 at 701 W. Nedderman Drive.Pulitzer Prize-winner Geraldine Brooks will deliver the keynote address 7 p.m. March 24. Brooks won a Pulitzer for her novel March and will discuss literary heroines who have influenced her writing and how she creates her own fictional female heroines.Brooks will speak at the sixth floor of the Central Library at 702 Planetarium Place.The events are a part of the 28th annual Women’s History Month Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the UT Arlington Libraries. — Monica S. NagyMasonic Temple celebrates 50th anniversary April 12The Arlington Masonic Temple at 1415 Abram St. is 50 years old, and to mark the occasion, Arlington Masonic Lodge 438 is hosting a special program at 4 p.m. on April 12.There will be live music and a re-dedication ceremony. The public is invited.Keynote speaker will be Past Master James Swafford, who is on the Grand Prairie City Council.Spring Creek Barbeque is catering for $15 per plate. For $30, the meal will include a special coin and apron. Contact the lodge secretary at 817-274-7591 to make reservations or buy a coin and apron separately.Arlington Masonic Lodge was chartered in 1874 at Johnson Station. The first master of the lodge was A.S. Hayter, who was also the founding pastor of Cumberland Presbyterian Church.The Little Gym announces two summer campsThe Little Gym of Arlington/Mansfield is enrolling children in two new age-appropriate and interest-driven summer camp programs: Super Kids’ Quest Summer Camp for children ages 3 to 8 and Skill Thrill Summer Camp for children ages 6 to 12 years.The Skill Thrill Summer Camps focus on enhancing specific beginner, intermediate or advanced level gymnastics skills with themed activities.The Super Kids’ Quest Summer Camp challenges children to spend three hours a day completing a mission, or “Quest.” Each Quest employs a storyline designed to give kids a chance to exercise their bodies, imaginations and team cooperative skills to complete their mission.Both camps offer flexible scheduling, allowing families to enroll their children for several full weeks, a week, or even just a day at a time. Parents can also register their children for the gym’s regular schedule of age-appropriate summer classes for children four months through 12 years.For more information or to register for any of the programs, contact Shelly Brodsgaard at 817-465-9296 or email her at tlgarlington-mansfieldtx@TheLittleGym.com.Visit The Little Gym at www.TheLittleGym.com.GRAND PRAIRIEActivity gears up for city’s first Dragon Boat FestivalGrand Prairie’s inaugural Dragon Boat Festival is coming April 12 to Loyd Park on Joe Pool Lake.Teams are forming and fans are learning about the ancient sport of dragon boating that began 2,500 years ago in China.This event will feature local and regional teams coming together to race against each other in a series of heats on a 300-meter buoyed course. Novice teams need not worry about experience or equipment. Included in the team registration cost ($1,250 for a corporate team, $850 for a community or nonprofit team, and $700 for a visiting team) is a practice session where professional event coordinators will show participants how to paddle and race.Practice sessions as well as race day heats include all of the necessary equipment: the long, narrow boat; paddles, life vests, a drum and a steersperson/coach.Team registration is open until April 4. It works like this: Teams of 18 to 25 people are seated in 10 rows of two with a drummer sitting in the bow, facing the paddlers, who paddle in unison. The drummer beats the drum in sync with the paddlers. A steersperson stands in the stern of the boat and guides it straight down the race course with a 10-foot oar.The Dragon Boat Festival itself will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at about 4 p.m. on April 12. Spectators may bring lawn chairs and blankets to Loyd Park and enjoy the races. Food vendors and music will be on hand. A $10 per car entry fee to the park will be charged to non-participants.Proceeds from the Dragon Boat Festival will go to the Grand Prairie school district’s Career Technology Education Scholarship Fund and to support the Grand Prairie Chamber’s Program of Work.For more information, visit www.gpdragonboat.com. — Shirley Jinkins
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