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Les Cockrell: Library stacks calendar with youth events

The Denton Public Library has scheduled a variety of programs designed to entertain and educate young people this summer.

Danielle Bradley, a Texas State Park interpreter, will visit the library to lead “Wildlife Detectives,” a program for ages 5 and older. Participants will learn how to use observational skills to find traces of animal activity, according to a library announcement.

The program will be offered at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland St., and at 3:30 p.m. July 17 at South Branch Library, 3228 Teasley Lane.

Art Explorers, a series about art and artists for ages 6 to 8, will be offered in four installments at North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St. Each session will begin at 3 p.m., and participants will hear a story, discuss artwork and create their own art at each session.

Dates and titles are: Wednesday, “Monet: Wax Resist Watercolors”; June 25, “Picasso: Cubist Portraits”; July 9, “O’Keeffe: Close-Up Flower Paintings”; and July 23, “Magritte: Surrealist Collages.”

An indoor/outdoor program titled “Exploding Science” will give participants an opportunity to make scientific explosions. Best for ages 6 and older, the program will be offered at 4 p.m. Wednesday at South Branch Library. Registration is required.

Engineering for Kids will feature a book about engineering and a project designed to introduce participants to the fun and challenge of engineering. This program is for youngsters in kindergarten through third grade and will be offered at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at South Branch Library and 4:30 p.m. July 17 at Emily Fowler Central Library.

It’s a Girl Thing Book Club offers girls ages 10 to 14 and their mothers an opportunity to discuss books. For more information, contact Rebecca Ivey at 940-349-8752 or

Upcoming dates and featured books are: Tuesday, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick; July 15, Eragon by Christopher Paolini; and Aug. 12, The Giver by Lois Lowry. All programs will begin at 4 p.m. at South Branch Library.

The library’s Teen Book Club meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and offers teenagers opportunities to discuss books, enjoy snacks and just hang out.

Featured titled and dates are: Tuesday, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; July 15, If I Stay by Gayle Forman; and Aug. 19, Maze Runner by James Dashner.

For more information about these and other programs for young people, contact youth services librarian Stacey Irish-Keffer at 940-349-8718 or

Lake Dallas program to feature ‘The Abolitionists’

Area residents are invited to attend a discussion of the award-winning PBS documentary The Abolitionists at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lake Dallas City Hall.

The program is free and offered as part of a series on the American civil rights struggle by the National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to present the program, according to a news release.

Refreshments will be served. Lake Dallas City Hall is at 212 Main St.

For more information about the program, call the Lake Cities Library at 940-497-3566.

LLELA planning astronomy program, log house tours

Visitors to the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area this weekend will have opportunities to study the stars and tour the area’s restored frontier home.

“Stars on the Prairie,” from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, will guide participants in learning how to explore the wonders of the night sky, according to a LLELA news release.

The program is designed for ages 5 and older, and there is a $5 fee in addition to the regular gate admission of $5 per person.

Reservations are required by calling 972-219-3939. If the sky is cloudy, a night hike will be held instead of the astronomy program.

Visitors can tour the Minor-Porter Log House from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The log structure is furnished with items typical of everyday life on the Denton County frontier in 1870.

Volunteers will guide visitors and answer questions, and all ages are welcome to participate. The only cost is regular gate admission of $5 per person (free for ages 5 and younger).

The environmental learning area is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for fishing, hiking, camping, bird watching, kayaking, canoeing, picnicking and other activities. The entrance is at the intersection of Jones and Kealy streets in Lewisville. For more information, visit

United Way officials seek volunteers for Day of Action

The first official United Way of Denton County Day of Action will be Saturday, officials reminded recently.

Throughout the week starting today, community service projects will offer volunteer service opportunities.

Beneficiaries of the United Way of Denton County Day of Action include Denton County Friends of the Family, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Denton Christian Preschool, Giving Hope Inc., Habitat for Humanity, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Denton County Inc., The Arc of Denton County and Evers Park Elementary School.

A rally for volunteers is planned at 3 p.m. Saturday to wrap up the week. It will be held at the United Way office, 1314 Teasley Lane in Denton. The rally will include children’s activities, live music, a blood drive conducted by Carter BloodCare and information about how participants can continue to volunteer with local organizations.

For more information about Day of Action scheduled drives and projects, visit

Red Cross sets blood drives in The Colony and Carrollton

The American Red Cross has scheduled two Denton County blood drives this week, and all blood types are needed.

The first drive will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at The Colony Community Center, 5151 N. Colony Blvd., and the second will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton, 4343 N. Josey Lane.

A blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required to donate blood. Individuals who are at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health are be eligible to donate blood, according to the Red Cross.

To make an appointment or for more information, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit

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 email address is