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Les Cockrell: Kids’ books needed for drive

Librarians with the Denton school district and the Denton Public Library are collaborating to help youngsters in need this summer.

A children’s book drive is now underway, and all the books collected will be given to the 600 children who receive free summer lunches through the city of Denton, a program spokeswoman said. Each child will also receive a packet of games, science experiments and crafts they can do at home.

The program goal is to give each child five books and an age-appropriate activity pack in July.

“Research shows kids who don’t read over the summer come back to school 2-3 months behind kids who do, and that those months accumulate; by the time the child is in sixth grade, they’re generally over a year behind the kids who do read over the summer,” Michelle Lynn, librarian at Evers Park Elementary School, said in an email.

Book donations can be dropped off at numerous locations, including all three Denton library branches, DATCU in downtown Denton, Jupiter House Coffee, Mr. Chopsticks, Denton Community Market, SCRAP Denton and Recycled Books Records CDs, Lynn said. Supporters should look for a large yellow box at each collection site.

Denton Public Library to kick off summer reading program Friday

The Denton Public Library will kick off its Summer Reading Club with an event featuring Professor Brainius at all three branches on Friday.

Professor Brainius brings a lab full of laughs, combining science, music and entertainment for the family, according to a library news release. Seating is limited and free tickets will be available starting an hour before each show time on a first-come, first-served basis.

Times and locations for Friday’s shows are:

* 10:30 a.m., South Branch Library, 3228 Teasley Lane;

* 1:30 p.m., North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.; and

* 4:30 p.m., Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland St.

For more information, contact youth services librarian Stacey Irish-Keffer at 940-349-8718 or

Crafters invited to weekly program at North Branch

A craft program titled “Finish It Fridays” will begin this week at Denton’s North Branch Library, and anyone with an unfinished craft project is invited to participate.

The program will meet from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. each Friday through Aug. 29, except for July 4 and Aug. 8. No registration is required — just bring your favorite craft project to the library for the come-and-go program and visit with other crafters to exchange knowhow.

The library is located at 3020 N. Locust St. For more information, call 940-349-8752.

Youngsters can learn about fishing at learning area

The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area will have a fishing day for youngsters on Saturday.

LLELA instructors will provide instruction and activities including fish identification, casting, knot-tying and fishing rules and ethics from 10 a.m. to noon.

The program is open to ages 7 and older. There is a $2 program fee in addition to the regular gate fee of $5 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required at 972-219-3930 or

No fishing tackle is required, but those who intend to stay and fish after the program will need to bring their own gear.

LLELA’s entrance is at 201 E. Jones St. at the intersetion of Jones and Kealy Street in Lewisville.

Lewisville concert series begins with Elvis tribute

The Sounds of Lewisville concert series will present nine free shows on Tuesday nights in June and July.

Concerts start at 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs, and pets on a leash are allowed.

The series kicks off Tuesday with Kraig Parker and his Elvis tribute show. The series will open in the courtyard at Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles St., where the concerts have been held since 2011. When construction is completed on Old Town Park Plaza, the concerts will move to the permanent stage and grass lawn in the new park.

Free public parking is available along Main and Church streets or at Lewisville City Hall across Church Street from the center.

Other performers in the series include returning favorite Brave Combo on June 10. For a full schedule, visit

Widow-Daughter Tea planned Saturday in Denton

A Widow-Daughter Tea and Generations Past/Present Program is planned from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the dining room of Carriage House Assisted Living, 1357 Bernard St. in Denton

All area widows and their daughters or “adopted daughters for the day” are invited. The program will feature two speakers, a satire on 1950s fashion, a plants-crafts-bake sale, skits, music and door prizes.

Attorney Synthia Morris of Colorado Springs, Colo., the daughter of E. Curina Morris of Justin, founder-director of Widows of America Inc., will speak on “A Daughter’s Perspective of Widowhood.”

Widows of America member LaDonna Koerner of Mineral Wells will be the keynote speaker and vocalist.

Tickets cost $6 per person. To request a reservation and order tickets for the annual event by Wednesday, call Fran Massengale at 940-566-2963 or E. Curina Morris at 940-648-2540. After Wednesday, reservations will be accepted if space is available.

Gribble Springs Cemetery group plans homecoming

The Gribble Springs Cemetery Association will conduct its annual homecoming and Decoration Day event on Sunday at Gribble Springs Baptist Church, located five miles north of Denton on FM2164.

“Dinner on the grounds,” a covered-dish meal, will be served at noon following the morning worship service. A short association business meeting at 1 p.m. will conclude the day’s activities.

For more information about the event or for directions to the church and cemetery, call Jessie Ashby-Bonds at 940-458-7862.

Post 71 holds orientation for Boys State attendees

American Legion Post 71 in Denton held an orientation on Wednesday for high school juniors selected for Boys State, according to a news release from the post.

Denton-area students scheduled to attend Boys State, which runs from Sunday through June 13 at the University of Texas at Austin, include: Zachary Alspach, William Crouch, James March, Julian Moberly, Robert Simpson, William Tanner and Kade Wagner of Denton High School; Gordon Hill, Connor Hinchey, Andrew Hunsberger, Jacob Herbig, Charles Lawson, Remy Nadeau, Dylan Ozuna, Cole Priddy, Hunter Snowden, Joseph Silvaggio, Jack Taylor and Jonathan Yamashita of Guyer High School; Reid Clibbens, Benjamin Davidson, Sean Durbin, Jacob Kizer, Charles Nickelson, Nicholas Pierce, Matthew Russell, Jonathan Soria and Sergio Torres-Fuentes of Ryan High School; Ethan Bussberg, Dalton Collier, Hayden Hawley, Alexander Holcomb and Dalton Montgomery of Lake Dallas High School; Cameron Brasher, Braden Garoutte, Jackson Lytle and Alexander Viscus of Liberty Christian School; Nicholas Nielsen, Cameron Osmond and Pierce Pomykal of Flower Mound Marcus High School; Marcus Ash, Quinn Bauer, Nicholas McGuire, Matthew Nemecek, John Shotner and Jacob Washburn of Lewisville High School; and Anirudh Rumalla of Uplift North Hills Preparatory.

The objectives of Boys State include developing civic leadership and pride in American citizenship and an interest in government and American traditions, according to the news release.

Boys State is only available to high school boys in their junior year. Application may be made through high school principals or counselors.

Interviews are conducted with the American Legion in March. Scholarships are $275 per individual and are received from various sources.

For more information, call Lynn Vowell, Post 71 Americanism chairman, at 940-727-8067.

Navigator can help with CHIP, Children’s Medicaid

Denton County residents can now access a local navigator for free assistance in applying for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Children’s Medicaid, according to a news release.

Eduardo Peña is certified to answer questions and help in the process, and appointments can be made by calling 817-659-8230. Navigators will be available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Saturday appointments can be scheduled on request.

CHIP and Children’s Medicaid cover regular check-ups, shots, doctor and dentist visits, hospital care, mental health services, prescriptions and more.

For each child to be enrolled, families will need a copy of the child’s birth certificate, Social Security number, a copy of an alien registration card if the child is not a U.S. citizen, proof of each family member’s income and proof of how much the family pays for child care.

Navigators can also assist with questions about applying for insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace for the Affordable Care Act. Although open enrollment for 2014 is over, residents may still be able to enroll if they have a life-changing circumstance such as losing a job, having a baby or other qualifying events, the news release states.

Eligible low-income children and pregnant women can enroll in CHIP or Medicaid year-round.

For more information, call Peña at 817-659-8230 or Sandra Luz at 214-650-7724, or visit or

LES COCKRELL is interested in your input for Out & About. Help share information about Denton County events and people by calling him at 940-566-6887. His e-mail address is