Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on H-E-B: Open house for Nature School at River Legacy on Saturday

River Legacy Nature School students on a winter hike.
River Legacy Nature School students on a winter hike. Courtesy photo

Just a hop and skip southward on Farm Road 157 — right after crossing the Trinity River, an expansive 1,300 acres of beautiful land known as River Legacy Parks awaits nature lovers. And there’s more because the Living Science Center at the park offers visitors a chance to see some great exhibits and learn about the fantastic education programs offered there.

The Nature School at the Living Science Center is an immensely popular education program for preschoolers, and an open house is set for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday for families to explore the idea of enrolling their little ones in the classes and get a sneak peek into Nature School fun. Parents of children currently enrolled at Nature School are also welcome to attend.

“Guests will get to meet the teachers, visit the classrooms, participate in art and classroom activities and observe live animal explorations,” said spokeswoman Kristi Payne.

“This unique preschool enrichment program gives children ages 3 to 5 or 6 a natural place to learn, play and grow where lessons venture out the door and into nature. Nature School provides small enriching classroom environments, engaging live animals, nature walks, storytimes, art and dramatic play,” Payne added.

Classes that are half day and extended day are available. New this year is an engaging and advanced curriculum for children ages 5 to 6. Enrollment for the 2016-17 school year is underway. Classes meet once a week from September through May.

To learn more, contact education director Debbie Vernon at 817-860-6752, ext. 105, or visit www.riverlegacy.org. The Living Science Center is at 703 NW Green Oaks Blvd. in Arlington.

Band students raise $1,300 for cancer patients to attend Bluebonnet Retreat

Every April and October, 24 campers are matched with 24 counselors for fun and relaxation at a ranch in Kaufman. Not just any camp, this one — known as the Bluebonnet Retreat — is especially for adults age 18 and over who have been diagnosed with cancer in the last five years. The free camp is made possible with an endowment funded from Texas Health Resources hospital employees and community donors.

Kudos to high school teens from the Just Brass Band who performed concerts all last year to donate funds to the Bluebonnet Retreat. The band presented Texas Health Resources Foundation and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford with a check for $1,300 during a recent ceremony.

The seven-member ensemble band started raising money for charities in 2014 after it was formed by tuba player Ethan Jezek from Carroll High School. Members chose the cancer camp as their beneficiary this year after a band member’s mother, Kelly Coughlin, was diagnosed with breast cancer and attended the camp and described it as a life-changing experience.

“I was terrified when they told me I had cancer,” said Coughlin in a statement. “What I remember most about the retreat is the strength and kindness — I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t gone. It meant the world to me.”

Traci Burnett, director of the Bluebonnet Retreat, has high praise for the students and said the donation was touching and would go to very good use for future camps.

To learn more about the Bluebonnet Retreat or the work of the foundation, contact H-E-B hospital communications director Jessica Kaszynski at 682-236-5241.

Beyond the Pale performs free concert Thursday

Music lovers will be pleased to know that the MasterWorks Concert Series for 2016 has begun and will again present more than 65 free concerts throughout cities in northern Tarrant County offering a variety of quality family entertainment to the community.

On Thursday, start the series off with a concert at the Hurst Public Library at 7 p.m. starring popular band Beyond the Pale.

According to spokesman Dylan Perera from the Northeast Arts Council, which presents the series, “Beyond the Pale delivers a wild musical ride outside the boundaries of convention. Delighting audiences for over 15 years, the band is grounded in the traditional roots music of America, Ireland and Northern Europe with imaginative ventures across musical borders.”

“They have developed their unique sound by blending a wide range of instruments including fiddle, flute, accordion, guitar, hammered dulcimer, tin whistle, saxophone, harmonica, concertina, clarinet, mandolin bodhran, percussion, and of course the voices of band members,” Perera explained.

The library is located at 901 Precinct Line Road. Direct inquiries to Perera at 817-283-3406 or visit www.ArtsCouncilNortheast.org for details.

Seuss Festival promotes childhood literacy at Bedford Library March 6

To celebrate Dr. Seuss’ 112th birthday and his contribution to childhood literacy, a Seuss Festival is set for March 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Bedford library. Guests are invited to wear costumes depicting their favorite Seuss characters.

Believed to be the only childhood literacy event in the Metroplex, the event will feature local celebrities reading favorite stories by the famous author along with arts and crafts activities, face-painting and refreshments.

“The 10th annual Seuss Festival promises to be the best yet with more food, sponsors and fun activities including a costume contest,” said library director Maria Redburn. Winners of the Seussical costume contest will be announced at 3:30 p.m.

Guests can drop by the Cook Children’s exhibit to get childhood health and safety tips and then visit the Aetna booth to get more healthcare information. The Northeast Tarrant Lions Club will on hand to do free eye examinations for the whole family. If you see Andy the Armadillo, he’s from Texas Roadhouse and will be serving up free lemonade.

More fun awaits with a juggler roaming the event along with balloon benders and a chance to make a Lorax necklace or win a prize in the One Fish Two fishing hole game. The animal shelter adoption wagon will be there to introduce adorable pets looking for a home.

Kona Ice will have cotton candy and yummy flavored ices, What’s Poppin Texas will bring along some Seussical candied popcorn and get a “green eggs and ham” grilled sandwich from Lee’s Grilled Cheese food truck.

Kids will love Andrew Wayne (ReMax Realty) reading Green Eggs and Ham at 1:30 p.m., Helene Ray (librarian, Meadow Creek Elementary) reading Horton Hears a Who at 2 p.m., Bedford Mayor Jim Griffin reading Cat in the Hat at 2:30 p.m. and Sara Taylor (librarian, Spring Garden Elementary) reading The Lorax at 3 p.m.

Admission is free, and the library is at 2424 Forest Ridge Drive. Questions? Visit www.bedfordlibrary.org or call 817-952-2350.

On another library news front, be sure to participate in the library satisfaction survey.

“We need input from residents and library users in order for the Bedford Public Library to continue to provide excellent customer service, invest resources wisely and meet the needs of our community,” said Redburn.

Take the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/6BP5M5Q

Send your Eyes on H-E-B news tips to freeder@star-telegram.com. Also, keep up with local events through our social media page. Please like us at www.facebook.com/SocialEyes.ST. Twitter @FayeReeder

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