Robb Flint, president of the Dads Club at University Park Elementary, announced yesterday that enough money has been raised to install a sport court at the school. But Flint’s announcement is too funny to paraphrase:
We Had a Dream
Five score years ago, when I was elected President of the UP Dads Club, I had a dream that one day UP would rise up, and live out the true meaning of the creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all children who attend Armstrong, Bradfield, Hyer and UP are created equal.”
I had a dream that one day the children of UP would have their own sport court to play on, just like their friends at Armstrong, Bradfield and Hyer.
I had a dream that my three little children would one day play basketball, four square and hopscotch on a sport court during recess with their friends.
With this faith, I took it upon myself to lead UP parents to make my dream come true.
As it turned out, I didn’t have to do much of anything to rally UP parents around the sport court initiative. An over-whelming majority of UP parents had the same dream I did. And when this became clear to me, it wasn’t my dream anymore. It was OUR dream.
People contacted me to express their support. They donated money. They got their friends to donate money. They attended the Cornhole Extravaganza for Make Benefit Glorious Sport Court UP. They had fun. They made a difference.
The end-result was nothing short of amazing…
Over 150 people donated money to the sport court initiative. Together, we raised $51,745 in less than four weeks. What a great testament to our wonderful school community!
Right now, school leadership is in the process of finalizing the architectural plans for the sport court. The plans will be finalized in a few days. Construction will begin in early July. The sport court will be ready for parents and children to enjoy before the next school year begins.
And when the sport court is finished, the children of UP will be able to sing with new meaning. “My school ‘tis of thee, sweet educational institution of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fellow UP brothers and sisters once played on a cement basketball court, let freedom ring.”
Let freedom ring from the hallways of the school. Let freedom ring from the gymnasium. Let freedom ring from KPAW. Let freedom ring from Dr. Carter’s office. Let freedom ring from the bowels of the school basement.
When we all allow freedom to ring—when we let it ring from every classroom and every teacher’s office, from the east side of the school building to the west side of the school building, we will be able to speed up that day when all of our children, Kindergarteners, First Graders, Second Graders, Third Graders and Fourth Graders, will be able to join hands and sing, “Free at last, Free at last, Thank – ful – ly, we are free of the ugly cement basketball court at last!”
Thank you for your support—it is greatly appreciated.
UP Dads Club
Thanks for the laughs, Robb. And thanks also for not using an apostrophe in “Dads Club.”
School may be (almost) out for summer, but that doesn’t mean that your little ones should stop practicing their reading. Last week I chatted with Carol Ann Luby, the vice president of membership for the University Park Library, and she shared an interesting fact with me: children can lose two to three brain levels in reading during the summer time if they don’t do it regularly. As a child I spent my summers enrolled in Hyer’s book club, and I credit it as one of the reasons I love reading so much (shout out to Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Shuford). Are you looking for something similar to enroll your little ones in? Here are the details on the summer reading programs at the UP and HP libraries.
- Are your little ones competitive? Then the University Park Library has the perfect book club for them. Kiddos will compete against each other – making reading not only an educational activity, but an exciting competition. You can register your babes at Caruth Park on June 8th or at the library.
- For kiddos who live in Highland Park, the HP Library is kicking off the summer reading season with a celebration at Prather Park on June 7th at 10:30 a.m. Lizza Conner, local children’s musician, will be there to perform.
By all accounts, tonight’s storm could get big.
HPISD just sent out a note about the possibility of a tornado warning (we’re currently just in “watch” status), in which case doors will be locked and students won’t be able to leave for the time being. Seems like standard protocol for a school district, but it’s worth a heads-up.
Per the email:
If the tornado watch is upgraded to a tornado warning, our campuses will shelter in place. If that occurs, doors will be locked and staff members and students will be situated away from windows and doors, so parents and others authorized to pick up students will not be able to do so while the warning is in place. Due to the dangerous conditions during a tornado warning and because the doors will be locked, we ask that parents not come to campus until the warning is lifted. Instead, please find shelter until the dangerous conditions have passed.
If a tornado warning occurs, we will communicate with parents and staff using our emergency text and e-mail notification system. We will also send a follow-up announcement when the warning is no longer in effect and children are cleared to leave campus.
While there are a lot of smart cookies at Highland Park High School, four have been recognized nationally for their excellence. Ann He, Arya McCarthy, Ellie Reynolds, and Jaclyn Zhou were chosen out of a pool of 15,000 finalists based on their accomplishments, skills, and academic success. Besides bragging rights, each also received a $2,500 scholarship. Great job, everybody!
These are stressful times for the parents — the mothers, in particular — of Highland Park High School seniors. Graduation is coming up on May 31, so that means there are only 16 shopping days left until the big day. And these moms are not stressing out about buying presents for their owns sons and daughters. Apparently, it’s become a custom in the Park Cities for seniors’ parents to give gifts to all of their graduate’s friends. I know of one student whose peers’ parents have already given him (deep breath):
- 4 monogrammed key chains, including one made from the skin of an alligator that the gift-giving senior killed himself
- 2 monogrammed beach towels
- 2 monogrammed flasks (Hello, Coach Sutterfield!)
- 2 monogrammed money clips
- 1 monogrammed buck knife
- 1 monogrammed Swiss Army knife
- 1 monogrammed mini cooler
- 1 bow tie bearing the logo of the recipient’s university
- 1 basketball hoop for a dorm room door
- 1 umbrella (not monogrammed — WTF?)
My source told me what she’s giving to her son’s friends — the girls are all getting one thing, the boys another — but I’m going to keep that information to myself to protect her identity. However, I can tell you that her gift ideas are classy for the girls and a bit naughty for the boys.
Highland Park ranked No. 9 overall and No. 5 in math and science among North Texas high schools on this year’s Children at Risk list — which makes for a good thing, despite the effective misnomer.
Per the organization’s website, schools are selected via “a compilation of factors that indicate the degree to which a campus has prepared students for secondary and post-secondary success.”
University Park Elementary dad Robb Flint reached out about an event today called Cornhole Extravaganza for Make Benefit Glorious Sport Court UP — and yup, that’s the actual title, inspired by Borat-speak. It’s open to all UP parents and supporters of the school, and starts at 5 p.m. at 3319 Hanover St.
The UP Dads Club fundraiser is a tournament (Flint figures at least 100 people will show), with proceeds to go toward installation of the school’s first real athletics court. Event sponsors have already stepped in line, for the record, and include Anhauser-Busch distributor Ben E. Keith, clothing company J. Hilburn, and Snider Plaza’s Love Tennis.
Their goal? To raise $50,000.
“We like to say that it will be the largest cornhole tournament ever held in University Park,” Flint tells us.
I believe the man.
Highland Park High School’s production of Back to the ’80s has been nominated in three categories of the second annual Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards, which will be held Tuesday night at the Music Hall at Fair Park.
Three judges visited more than 40 North Texas high schools and judged performers in 15 categories: Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Musical Direction, Best Choreography, Best Orchestra, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting, Best Ensemble, Best Crew, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Featured Performer.
Charles Harper, who portrayed Feargal McFerrin in Back to the ’80s, is one of 10 nominees in the Best Supporting Actor category. Travis Warren, who played Mr. Cocker, will compete against nine others in the Best Featured Performer category. Additionally, the entire cast of Back to the ’80s is up for the Best Ensemble award.
Highland Park High School’s annual Spring Benefit takes place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Highlander Stadium. Council member Shannon Shiffer tells us that the carnival, which costs $10, will feature the usual thrills — face-painting, inflatables, games, food, autographs from Scots team captains — and even a free T-shirt. The event will benefit C.O.P.S., or Concerns of Police Survivors, which helps families of slain law-enforcement officers.
Busy parents are always looking for safe, reliable help in taking care of their children. One childcare option that is frequently overlooked is hosting an au pair from a foreign country. Au pairs provide live in childcare service and a cultural experience while living with the family. Typically the age of an au pair is from 20-24 years old. They must be fluent in English plus have a driver’s license and be willing to stay with the host family for at least 12 months.
The host family must meet certain requirements as well, such as submitting an application, providing a private bedroom for the au pair and completing an in-home interview. There are regulations to comply with the U.S. Department of State, including limiting the au pairs work hours to a maximum of 45 hours a week and 10 hours a day. One leading agency is AuPairCare who has been in business since 1989. Check out the website to learn more about hosting and qualifications.
An au pair becomes a part of your extended family while acting as a loving caregiver for your children.
AuPairCare offers discounts for families with twins and multiples as well as military families. For further discussion, contact Judy Howard program adviser at 972 530 1738.
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