Highland Park Summer Reading Club Wraps Up With Scientific Celebration


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Three of Highland Park’s youngest readers work on creating rockets during Friday’s Summer of Science Celebration Party, sponsored by Christine McKenny and Dave Perry-Miller & Associates.

A little wet weather couldn’t dampen young readers’ spirits Friday morning during the Summer of Science Celebration Party, a capstone to the Highland Park Library’s Summer Reading Club. Presented by Christine McKenny and Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, the event originally scheduled for Prather Park was moved indoors to the Department of Public Safety’s garage.

Bill Bland avoids a rocket launched by Grace Bland.
Bill Bland avoids a rocket launched by Grace Bland.

“As the mother of a child growing up in Highland Park, enjoying books from our wonderful town library, I know the importance of reading over the summer,” McKenny said. “That’s why I’m so honored to sponsor this season-ending celebration for the Summer Reading Club.”

Club members were treated to science-themed events all summer long. That’s why Friday’s celebration included activities such as making spider and alligator finger puppets, creating thaumatropes, and launching rockets. In addition, former Highland Park High School teacher Kent Smith was on hand to sell autographed copies of his new book, My Homework Ate My Dog, which was illustrated by one of his former students, Elizabeth Ygartua.

Children kept track of the number of books they read (or had read to them) during the summer. When they logged five books, they receive a free ticket to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. If they reached the goal of 10, a book was donated in their honor to Readers 2 Leaders, an organization that works to develop reading and language skills in West Dallas children.

“We wanted a beneficiary that could help children appreciate what they have at our library,” said Pam Hatcher, a member of the children’s staff. “You could drive five or 10 minutes and find a neighbor who doesn’t have easy access to good books.”

Nicholas Fernandes decorates a "Franken-cookie," while Nicholas Fontenot helps himself to some elements on the "Periodic Table of Fruits and Vegetables."
Nicholas Fernandes decorates a “Franken-cookie,” while Nicholas Fontenot helps himself to some elements on the “Periodic Table of Fruits and Vegetables.”