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Greatwood MAY 2021


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Contents & Staff

Greatwood monthly™

May 2021

CHAIRMAN, EDITOR & PUBLISHER Clyde King cking@hartmannews.com ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Marquita Griffin mgriffin@fbherald.com ADVERTISING Stefanie Bartlett sbartlett@fbherald.com Ruby Polichino ruby@fbherald.com



GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Melinda Maya mmaya@fbherald.com Rachel Cavazos rcavazos@fbherald.com WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Scott Reese Willey Averil Gleason Ryan Dunsmore


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FEATURE | The Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas continues to work through its recovery and eagerly announces open auditions for the new season. IN THE SPOTLIGHT | Mosaic artist Arlene Velez is motivated by beautiful things. TALK OF THE TOWN | The ‘Take Me Home’ safety program grows and is championed by local agencies.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT | ‘The Taste of Sunrise’ is more than a show, it’s a production serving as a unique bridge between two worlds. HEALTH | Heart to Heart program helps NICU preemies bond with their moms.

TO ADVERTISE To advertise in Greatwood Monthly please call Lee Hartman, Stefanie Bartlett, or Ruby Polichino, our advertising representatives, at 281-342-4474 for rates, information and deadlines. PHOTO & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS We are looking for fresh story ideas and enjoy publishing your articles in the Greatwood Monthly. If you have an story idea or photo to publish please send your information to mgriffin@fbherald.com with “Greatwood Monthly” in the subject line. ©2021 Greatwood Monthly All Rights Reserved. Greatwood Monthly is a sister publication of Fulshear Living Monthly, Pecan Grove Monthly, West Fort Bend Living and is a publication of the Fort Bend Herald. Our publishing headquarters is 1902 S. Fourth Street, Rosenberg Texas 77471.

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Feature Story


Auditions are open for The Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas by MARQUITA GRIFFIN | mgriffin@fbherald.com

Photo by EB Scott Photography | The Tour Choir sining in the 2020 Christmas Musicale at Christ Church Sugar Land.


hen the coronavirus crisis took hold of society in the spring of last year, the Skinners, like many parents, paused their son’s social activities, not that there was much choice in the matter. As the state-mandated lockdowns rolled out, local youth-centric organizations like the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas, which should have been gearing up for its spring and summer activities, were forced to shut down. Before there was time to process what was happening, in one fell swoop, the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas had to cancel all of its plans, with no indication of when or if operations would resume. Gone was the Spring Concert, the week-long summer vocal camp, and the choir’s summer performance tour to New Mexico. The income from fundraisers, galas, and performances ceased, and membership nose-dived. And yet, by August 2020, the choir was in the position to resume its regular season while adhering to guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and additional scientific studies. But the Skinners were still worried about the contagious virus and decided their son Caleb — who has been a member of the choir for four years, the last two as a Tour choirboy — shouldn’t return to the choir. As the months passed, however, Carlton Skinner watched gloom gradually surround his son. “Caleb loves singing,” Skinner said. “And with everything shut down and not being in choir, all of his social life was totally cut off. Even though it’s tough for us adults, too, we can cope easier than a kid. ” Not only did he lose his choir time and had to adjust to virtual

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learning on the fly, Caleb entered sixth grade at a new school while most of his friends tracked to another campus. “It was like ‘I’m stuck at home, looking at faces I don’t know on a computer screen ...’” Skinner said of his son’s predicament.“So even with those [COVID-19 case] numbers still up in January, we decided to give it a try.We looked at all the precautions in place and decided to let him return.And we haven’t had one problem. He is back with familiar faces and friends and doing something he loves to do.” “When there is something you love, that is the core of your being, and it’s been taken from you ... Skinner pauses briefly. “Being back let his heart breathe,”he said.“And I am quite happy.”


While the Skinners’ story is an encouraging example of how families can safely and successfully resume social activities, learning how to operate during a worldwide health crisis was, and still is, an uphill battle for the Fort Bend Boys Choir. As a private, nonprofit organization, the choir relies on fundraising events, sponsorships, and donations to fund its operations, so when the pandemic hit, officials worried that the longstanding choir was on unsteady grounds. “We received no income for over six months last year due to no summer tour, no spring concert, and no spring fundraising,” said Tiana Mortimer, the executive director of the Fort Bend Boys Choir. “Our budget runs lean and mean anyway so if it weren’t for the fact that last year’s gala did so well, who knows where we would be.The governmental PPP loans and such put a temporary

Photo by EB Scott Photography |The “small but mighty” Town-Training Choir rehearsing for the 2020 Christmas Musicale.

Photo by EB Scott Photography | The audience for the 2020 Christmas Musicale. Guests also sat in the balcony and everyone was social distanced in their family groups.

Band-Aid on finances. “The good news is that we were able to start rehearsals again in August 2020, although with less than half the membership,” she noted. The choir’s total enrollment as of April 2021 was 43 choirboys. In prior years, the choir boasted 100 to 125 members across its four choir groups. “COVID-19 really affected our membership,” Mortimer said.“We feel fortunate the 40-plus choir families trusted us with the safety of their sons.” The Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas typically features three performing ensembles, but the drastic decline in membership during the pandemic forced the organization to restructure its operations. Currently, the Town and Training choirs are combined, collectively comprised of 18 boys. The Town-Training Choir meets on Mondays, while the Tour Choir, which has 25 members, still meets on Thursdays and Sundays. The choir’s Music Magic program, comprised of six and seven-yearolds, unfortunately still hasn’t resumed. But “things are looking up a bit because we are still auditioning boys,” Mortimer said. “In fact, we have four new boys in our TownTraining Choir this semester.”

“We totally understand the hesitancy of families because of the pandemic. However, it has been a year, vaccines are out, cases are down and frankly, kids, especially boys, are tired of being cooped up,” Mortimer and Adams both added. “It is important for kids to have an outlet, and many have had nothing but a computer monitor for schooling for the past year.Their mental and emotional well-being are important. Boys need a sense of community, something that the Fort Bend Boys Choir can provide. “We have proven that meeting together as a group to sing can be safe.”


The key to the choir’s recovery is rooted in membership, said Fort Bend Boys Choir Founder and Artistic Director William“Bill”Adams.This is why recruitment is currently the most pressing objective for the choir. “A secondary objective is boosting income ... which is directly tied to recruitment,”Adams said, noting the choir is holding in-person auditions for the upcoming season. “We encourage boys who love music and singing to give us a try,” he said. Auditioning boys should be 8 to 13 years with an unchanged voice, and prior experience isn’t necessary. In previous years the choir’s recruitment primarily stemmed from local music teachers, but virtual and hybrid learning made it difficult to get audition information into the hands of the music teachers. So word of mouth, a text, or social media post will serve the choir well,Adams stressed. “Spread the word to the parents,” he said.“Let them know that despite the pandemic, we have been able to meet, sing and perform successfully and safely.” “Over the summer and up to now, we maintained our safety protocols, even during auditions,” Mortimer added.“The boys are singing with masks without a problem.”


When Adams and Mortimer said the Fort Bend Boys Choir proved returning to social activities was possible, they mean that literally. “The First United Methodist Church in Missouri City is our rehearsal spot, and when we started rehearsals in August, the church was still not meeting in person yet,” Mortimer said, explaining no other groups other than the choir were allowed in the church. “The Fort Bend Boys Choir was the ‘test subject’ so to speak,” Mortimer continued. “We set the precedent on how groups should be meeting in the church during COVID-19.” With oversight from church trustees and safety protocols based on the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and additional scientific studies, the Fort Bend Boys Choir “proved we could safely and effectively meet,” Mortimer said proudly. In addition to social distancing, mask requirements, temperature checks, and hand-washing/hand-sanitizing etiquettes, the choirboys also receive an “air break” halfway through rehearsals. “Essentially the rooms air out while the boys go outside for fresh air before returning,” Mortimer explained.“And after rehearsal, we spray down the chairs and other surfaces in the room with disinfectant.” Looking back at a year filled with chaos, uncertainty, and fears of every kind, Mortimer is proud of the choir’s resolve. “There is a reason why the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas has lasted for almost 40 years — Mr.Adams,” she said.“He is the guiding force behind it all.The organization is his baby and he did not want to accept not being able to meet and sing. He worked hard finding alternatives at every turn when COVID-19 threw up roadblocks.” Adams, however, was quick to give credit to the community. “The Fort Bend community loves the choirboys and we have good relationships here,” he said. “Because we have performed in many venues and sang in many churches over the years, I am friends with a number of choir directors and music ministers. It is these relationships within the community and the choir’s reputation that had many people trust us.”

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The pandemic proved to be a tough adversary, but the Fort Bend Boys Choir isn’t one to bow out. Despite the challenges, the choir continued with performances and accomplishments during the pandemic. In March 2020, before the mandated shutdowns, the Polish film “Hejter” was released in Europe, featuring the Fort Bend Boys Choir’s performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” on its soundtrack. August brought the international release of the Wasteland 3 video, which featured six songs on its soundtrack recorded by the Tour Choir, and December brought forth the choir’s most pressing challenge: hosting the Christmas Musicale. The annual event, held at Christ Church Sugar Land this year, allowed a 175-member audience that had to be socially distanced. Tickets and reservations were secured solely online, guests were temperature-checked upon entry and required to wear masks, and the choirboys performed in masks as well. “All of our choirboys — 38 — participated,” Mortimer said.“We had to cut some music out because the performance was limited to one hour. “Typically, our concerts are an hour and a half to two hours.” The choir boys were also unfortunately prohibited from performing a modest, but potent, gesture because of social distancing restrictions. “Our audience and choirboys truly missed [a treasured interaction] when the Tour Choir sang ‘Dream a Dream,’” Mortimer said.“It’s the song the boys sing while holding a concert patron’s hand before hugging them and returning to the stage. “That personal, touching aspect was missed by all.” Still, Mortimer said the choir was “so thankful to even have a concert” during a pandemic. Then when it came time to host the choir’s annual gala dinner and auction fundraiser a few months ago, the platform was a virtual one. “With sponsorships and auction proceeds, we raised almost $25,000,” Mortimer said. “Pretty good results, but we are still a long way from recovering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic.” What would go a long way is an encouraging reminder to the community about the nonprofit’s presence and purpose, she offered. “I think COVID-19 has put everyone in their own little bubbles so many may not be aware that we are still working hard and operating,” Mortimer said.“We have current choirboys and families who need our support as well as some who are in COVID-hold, just waiting to return. “We need the support and help from the community to survive and thrive to ensure we have a music program for boys to return to.” Adams agreed. “As Tiana said, we need community support,” he said. “Spread the word about our music programs and our successful operations during this weird COVID year. Our next performance season starts in August and it will be our 40th anniversary. “Hopefully, you all can help us make it a triumphant one.” Photo by Carlton Skinner | From left, Town Choir Director Jason Ritchie, a Fort Bend Boys Choir alumnus and Katy ISD music teache with Caleb Skinner at the 2019 Spring Concert, when Caleb was in the Town Choir.

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SINGING SAFELY With the increase in vaccinations, the implementation of CDC guidelines, and studies like those from the Florida Atlantic University and the University of Bristol, England that reported singing in a group can be safe when maintaining social distance and wearing a mask, The Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas is hosting in-person auditions. Below are safety protocols the choir follows: ❖ Masks are worn at all times ❖ A touch-less temperature check is required upon entry ❖ Hand sanitizer is provided upon entry and in the rehearsal room ❖ Hand washing is required before entering the rehearsal room ❖ Practice is held in a large, ventilated rehearsal room ❖ Each choirboy rehearses with a 6-foot social distancing radius ❖ Rehearsals include a break time halfway through practice to allow for room circulation ❖ Chairs and surfaces disinfected after each rehearsal


During auditions, the potential choirboys will be checked for singing range, sing the first verse of ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee” or the “Happy Birthday” song. The boys will also sing several short melodic patterns dictated by the piano. Below are qualities the choir looks for in potential choirboys: ❖ A love of singing. ❖ A free and controlled tone which will blend well with other voices, and a good sense of pitch. ❖ Must be self-disciplined. Good behavior is positively enforced. ❖ Should be passing all subjects and have a good conduct grade. ❖ Must provide transportation to all rehearsals and concerts. Carpooling is available and encouraged. For more information about tuition, scholarships and available payment plans, visit www.fbbctx.org or scan the code below.

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In The Spotlight 10 • Greatwood Monthly

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Talk of the Town

Child Advocates of Fort Bend announces 2021 gala theme


xchange Club of Sugar Land will be the Confetti Presenting Sponsor for Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s 30th Birthday Gala Celebration on Saturday, May 8. The gala will celebrate the agency’s 30 years of serving child victims of abuse and their families. This fun, adult event will take place at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square and will feature a live and silent auction, raffle, wine and gift card pulls. Michele Fisher will emcee for the 9th year. Johnny Bravo is joining her as an auctioneer for the fourth time. Attire for the evening is elegant and festive. Black tie is optional. Child Advocates of Fort Bend opened its doors in 1991 with a volunteer executive director, trained its first class of CASA volunteers and assigned its first CASA volunteer to a child in foster care. In the last 30 years, they have expanded those services exponentially. “We now have two programs – Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and a Children’s Advocacy Center with comprehensive services to enable child victims of abuse and their families to get the support that they need to heal.The number of children and families in need of our services has increased 60% over the last eight years,” said CAFB CEO Ruthanne Mefford. “We launched a Capital Campaign in 2019 to renovate and expand our building to enable us to meet the growing need and opened our Davis George Campus just before the pandemic hit. While the number of children we saw dropped initially during the shutdown, we saw a dramatic rise in cases throughout the year. In fact, we served 3,544 children and families last year - an increase of 24% over 2019.” To date, Child Advocates of Fort Bend has served nearly 19,000 children. “The Gala is critical to funding our programs and services for the children and your support has never been more critical than it is today,” said Mefford. Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available ranging from $2,000 to $15,000. Individual seats are available for $150. To attend the gala, become a sponsor, donate an auction item or for more information, visit www.cafb.org/events/gala/sponsorship-opportunities/ or contact Tarina Sheridan at 281-344-5109 or tsheridan@cafb.org.

From left, top (first) row: Exchange Club Members Leslie Woods, Carlos Perez, Paul Barnett and Brad Porter; second row: Thad Olive, Vita Goodell, Rick Bell and Jeff Dodson; third row: John Heinemann, Lori Bisewski, Jennifer Boley, Venon Hunt; bottom row: Chanel Bermudez and Sue Sanchez.

12 • Greatwood Monthly

‘Take Me Home’ safety program grows


ort Bend County residents with cognitive disabilities are the focus of a fairly new local program designed to aid in their safety, and local agencies that support residents with a range of disabilities champion this program. This program, called “Take Me Home,” launched last December through the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. Its purpose is to help return people with cognitive disabilities safely to their homes if they are lost, or if they are found by someone. Residents who cannot communicate with authorities or have cognitive disabilities such as autism, Alzheimer’s, down syndrome, or even brain injuries, are all eligible to register to the “Take Me Home” database. The database registers information such as the individual’s image and specifics about the person’s communication challenges, like the effects of bright lights, being non-verbal or sensitivity to touch, and caregiver contact information. Since its launch, Hope For Three Autism Advocates, The Arc of Fort Bend County, Gigi’s Playhouse, and the Alzheimer’s Association Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter have worked to notify and register Fort Bend County residents that would find the program helpful. “An estimated 40 percent of people with autism are nonverbal,” said Darla Farmer, CEO of Hope For Three.“Knowing the ‘Take Me Home’ program can assist in keeping this population safe if lost or found, and aid in the response by local law enforcement helps families all across our county sleep better at night.” As of early April,“Take Me Home” reached more than 200 registrations. “When we encounter a person with cognitive disabilities, it is helpful to refer to this database to know how best to respond and reach caregivers safely,” said Fort Bend Sheriff’s Sgt. Matthew Hricko.“The identification information provided can also assist us in search of a missing person if necessary.” Families can sign up by visiting the Take Me Home program is available at www.fortbendcountytx.gov/government/departments-o-z/sheriff-s-office/programs/take-me-home. Information is kept confidential and only used by the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. For autism resources and referrals visit www.hopeforthree.org.

Hope For Three | Caroline Bordelon with son Caleb, 9, who lives with autism. Caleb is non-verbal and has eloped (a common characteristic of autism) from home many times. Upon learning about the Take Me Home program, she immediately registered Caleb. “This program is greatly needed and gives me peace and comfort for my family,” she said.

Library presents tips for senior citizens living independently


ort Bend County Libraries will present a special online program, “The Truth About Wills,Trusts, and Probate,” a program in the Senior Series for older adults and their family members, on Friday, May 14, from 10:30 am to noon. This program will be a virtual session presented via Webex; it will not be in person. Participants who register for the event will be emailed a link to a Webex meeting, and they may join the discussion from the comfort and safety of home. Liz McNeel, a senior real estate specialist and certified senior housing professional, will lead a panel of experts who will talk about the importance of estate planning. Learn about the differences between trusts and wills, how probate works, and how these can impact the parties involved. The program is free and open to the public. Registration is required; a link to the Webex session will be emailed to participants who register. To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the programs. For more information, call FBCL’s Communications Office (281-633-4734). Liz McNeel



A “Super” Trick for Garden Success by SANDRA GRAY | Fort Bend County Master Gardener


ou might think master gardeners spend countless hours making our gardens the envy of all that behold them and, to be honest, some master gardeners do. However, one of the great things about being a master gardener is learning tricks that make us more successful in our gardens with less work. Who wouldn’t like that? Let me tell you about one of my favorite tricks. One of the best things you can do to ensure garden success is to choose the right plant for the right place. Sounds easy but there are so many amazing plants to choose! The solution to this problem is a wonderful Texas A&M AgriLife program called Texas Superstars®. These plants have been tested by university horticulturists and master gardeners and proven to be winners throughout a variety of locations in Texas. What do I mean by “winner”? Hardier, more pest and disease resistant, more flowers, bigger flowers, more fruit, tastier fruit, and a “wow” factor is what I mean. In other words, these plants are more likely to thrive in your garden and dazzle you at the same time. Also, to be designated a Texas Superstar, a plant must be easy to propagate so the plants can be mass-produced for consumers at reasonable prices. An example of a Texas Superstar® is Duranta, also known as Golden Dew Drop. This deciduous shrub has masses of blue or purple flowers from

Continued on page 15 FORT BEND HERALD


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• 13

Arts & Entertainment



ocal actors, directors, and instructors at Fort Bend Christin Academy are continuing, what some are calling a “performance of impact,” with another showing of “The Taste of Sunrise,” this month. This production is a tale of two worlds — deafness and hearing. “The Taste of Sunrise” marks the second time in the academy’s history that its theatre and American Sign Language departments collaborated for a shadow production intended for a hearing and deaf audience. “I am so excited to be a part of the cast of ‘The Taste of Sunrise,’” said junior Madelyn Pozzi. “Working on the show has taught me so much. Before starting the play, I knew almost nothing about the ASL community around me. However, through rehearsals, I’ve been able to learn so much about the deaf community while also growing closer to my fellow cast members.” The production will include speaking students from the academy’s theatre department, led by Lana Thompson, and students from the academy’s American Sign Language (ASL) department, which is led by Tony Slate and Elyse DeBuck. Thompson said her passion for the deaf community was sparked by Slate and DeBuck, who explained the lack of theatre opportunities for deaf students. “Being able to be in this performance has been the biggest blessing,” said senior Jessica Crocker. “It has been so cool to bridge together two very important parts of my life, ASL and

theatre. “I’m so excited to be able to challenge myself and create something beautiful for the deaf community.” ‘THE TASTE OF SUNRISE’ Written by Suzan Zeder,“The Taste of Sunrise” centers around the life of a young deaf boy named Tuc who struggles to find his voice. His journey leads him to discover sign language, which opens his eyes to his true identity and opens the audience’s eyes to the history of deaf culture and the beauty of American Sign Language. The next showing is set for 7 p.m., Saturday, May 22 at Sugar Land Town Center, 15958 City Walk. There is no admission fee. “We look forward to sharing this special evening with our hearing and deaf audiences,” said the cast. For more information visit www.fortbendchristian.org/thetaste-of-sunrise.



oin other aspiring writers at Fort Bend County Libraries’ online “Story Spinners Writing Club” on Thursday, May 20, from 2 to 3 p.m.The topic for May is “Flow.” This program will be a virtual session presented via Webex; it will not be in person. Participants who register for the event will be emailed a link to a Webex meeting, and they may join the discussion from the comfort and safety of home. From beginning blogger to published novelist, writers of all genres and experience levels are welcome to write, share, learn, support, network, and critique each other’s work.Writing prompts, brainteasers, and brief exercises will be available to ignite the imaginations of any and all wordsmiths who wish to hone their craft. This program is recommended for adults and teens aged 14 and up. Free and open to the public, the Story Spinners Writing Club meets on the third Thursday of every month. Registration is required; a link to the Webex session will be emailed to participants who register. To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend. lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program. Participants may also register by calling George Memorial Library at 281-342-4455.

Senior actors Jessica Crocker and Elizabeth Walker.



n preparation for the Summer Reading Club, which begins May 31, Fort Bend County Libraries will have special online family programs for children of all ages each week rather than the regular virtual story-time activities. Because of the COVID-19 social-distancing recommendations, FBCL is continuing to offer children’s programming virtually, so that families can participate from the comfort and safety of home.

FBCA senior actor Luke Dibble.

14 • Greatwood Monthly

Continued on page 18

Continued from page 13 spring through fall and golden berries in late fall. It attracts bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other birds. If you are still not sold, it’s drought-resistant, too! Another example of a Texas Superstar® is the Dwarf Cherry Surprise Tomato, which produces a bounty of cherry tomatoes that are considered four times as sweet as other cherry tomatoes. It’s resistant to most common tomato diseases and is highly recommended for home and school gardens. The Texas Superstar®, Duranta, is New Texas Superstars® are addalso known as Golden Dew Drop. ed from time to time as they are tested and approved, the newest being an evergreen vine called the Yellow Butterfly Vine. It has delicate yellow flowers but its name comes from the salmoncolored seed pods that resemble butterflies. It is drought-tolerant and thrives in hot sunny locations. The value of choosing Texas Superstars is more than just their beauty or your increased probability of success. If you choose plants that will thrive in your garden, you save money that might have been wasted on plants that die before their time.You also save time and energy in nurturing plants that will be successful. Just remember to plant and care for them according to directions. If you are interested in more information about these plants, visit texassuperstar.com. This site includes detailed plant descriptions, growing tips, and where plants can be purchased. You can also look

for plants with Texas Superstar® labels. For answers to your specific gardening questions, contact the Fort Bend Master Gardener Hotline at bmg.org/contact. The Texas Nursery and Landscape Association and Texas Department of Agriculture (“Go Texan” Program) partner with Texas A&M faculty, Agrilife Research and Agrilife Extension to spread the word about Texas Superstars®.

Learn about plant selection with an online gardening program


ort Bend County Libraries will present an online program,“Landscape Success: Right Plants for the Right Place,” on Tuesday, May 25, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Part two of the Texas AgriLife Extension Office’s “Landscape Success” series for homeowners, this program will be live-streamed via Webex; it will not be in person. Fort Bend County Advanced Master Gardeners Peggy d’Hemecourt and Suma Mudan will talk about the use of native and well-adapted plants in the landscape. Get tips on landscape planning and how to make the best use of sun, shade, and drainage for varying plant needs. Mudan and d’Hemecourt will also talk about the Earth-Kind® Plant Selector,Texas Superstar® plants, and Earth-Kind® roses. The program is free and open to the public. Registration is required for the program so a link to the Webex session can be emailed to all who register. To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program on the date indicated. Participants may also register by calling Fort Bend County Libraries’ Communications Office at 281-633-4734.

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Continued from page 14 Videos of the family programs will be posted on the online Virtual calendar on FBCL’s website on the scheduled date. Families of toddlers and preschoolers may pick up to-go activity packets from the library for the month.These packets contain fun craft activities that can be done at home. Call the libraries to request to pick up the packets through the Curbside Pick-Up service. The schedule of family programs for May is as follows: May 1: The Story of Little Bear’s Terrible Unbearable Beary Bad Day (pre-recorded video) This program is presented by Twanda’s Theatre on Wheels, in conjunction with Young Audiences of Houston.The Story of Little Bear’s Terrible Unbearable Beary Bad Day is a story that explores feelings and emotions. Little Bear woke up in a “beary” bad mood and was having a terrible day until he met a friend who reminded him of the importance of being kind and compassionate. May 8: Mother’s Day Celebration (pre-recorded video) Create a fun gift for mom, snuggle up for a sweet Mother’s Day book, and enjoy a fun celebration of mothers! May 11: Steam Craft Carnival: Wind & Sound (pre-recorded video) In this virtual Steam Craft Carnival, learn how to create a Bee Buzzer, Singing Spoons, and a Wind Catcher. During each craft, library staff will explain the science that is involved in the activity, as well as everyday things that also utilize that science. A limited number of craft packets for this activity will be available for pick up at the First Colony Branch Library beginning May 4. Activity sheets may also be downloaded from the online calendar on the

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18 • Greatwood Monthly

Twanda’s Theatre on Wheels will present “Little Bear’s Beary Bad Day” on May 1.

FBCL website and printed out at home.This activity is sponsored by the Friends of the First Colony Branch Library. May 15: Yoga + Mindfulness (pre-recorded video) This program is presented by Kinetic Vibez, in conjunction with Young Audiences of Houston. Kinetic Vibez is an artistic wellness movement that focuses on introducing a holistically creative lifestyle to youth, ages 7 to 19. By fusing yoga, meditation, and hiphop, students can overcome stress, depression, and bullying. In this online program, students will learn the basics of the yogic system of meditation, which includes guided stretches, guided breathing practices, and guided sound-based meditation. Students will learn how to use these practices to develop a strong sense of mindfulness, increase mental and physical flexibility, and take control of any depression, anxiety, or stress they may be experiencing. May 22: Fancy Nancy Tea Party (pre-recorded video) Watching this program, children can participate at home by dressing in their favorite party clothes while they listen to a “Fancy Nancy” story and enjoy an afternoon tea party. Library staff will demonstrate how to make a fancy wand and crown and offer instructions on how to create “Fancy Nancy” inspired snacks. Children may even pick up some etiquette tips to practice at home! A limited number of craft packets for this activity will be available for pick up at the First Colony Branch Library beginning May 17. Activity sheets may also be downloaded from the online calendar on the FBCL website and printed out at home. This activity is sponsored by the Friends of the First Colony Branch Library. May 31-September 30: Tails and Tales Summer Reading Challenge Registration FBCL presents special reading challenges during the summer to encourage reading among children from birth and up. Children are invited to read a lot of great books and earn fun prizes for reading. Participants may register for the Summer Reading Challenge (SRC) online by going to the FBCL website and clicking on the

“SRC Sign-Up” image, which will become available on May 31. When the online registration form has been completed, readers will then have their own online page on which to record their books and reading time. Participants may also register and log books/reading time by downloading the free Beanstack Tracker app to their mobile device from the Apple App or Google Play stores. Fort Bend County Libraries and the Summer Reading Challenge will appear as options when the program starts on May 31. Video links and special live-streamed performances for the SRC will be available on FBCL’s online calendar and on the “FBCL Virtual Programs & Educational Resources” Facebook group page in June and July. All program videos can be viewed by selecting “Virtual Programs” on the “Classes and Events” tab on the Fort Bend County Libraries website – www.fortbend.lib.tx.us – and finding the programs on the dates listed.Youth programming will also be posted on the “FBCL Virtual Programs & Educational Resources” Facebook group page. For more information, call the library system’s Communications Office (281-633-4734).



ort Bend County Libraries is hosting an online Poetry Slam Competition for teens and young adults on Saturday, May 8, at 2 p.m. The theme for the live-streamed performance-poetry competition is “Dare to Hope.” Anyone who enjoys poetry is invited to watch the competition, which will take place online. Reservations are required to view the event; a link to the Webex session will be sent to all spectators who register on the FBCL website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us). Students 14 to 20 years of age are invited to submit entries on the FBCL website by May 3 at 5 p.m. They will compete for prizes in this performance-poetry event by reading original works they have created themselves. To participate in the competition, contestants should complete an online entry form on FBCL’s website and upload copies of three original poems they wish to read for the competition. One poem will be read for each round to which the participant advances. There will be two qualifying rounds and one final round. A panel of

five judges will determine which competitors advance to the second round and the final round. The order of performances will be randomly chosen on May 8 at the start of the event. Judging will be based on language, idea, theme, tone, mood, vocal strength, emotion, body/facial movement, and fluency. Each poem must be limited to no longer than 3 minutes and 10 seconds in length. Poets may read from a copy of their poem, but they may not use props, costumes, or musical instruments. Poems must be family-friendly and may not include any profanity or sexually explicit content. Poems containing incendiary, offensive, discriminatory, or inflammatory language will be disqualified. Participants who submit poems online during the entry period will be sent a link for the Webex session for the competition. Submissions will not be accepted after 5 p.m. on May 3. Prizes will be awarded to the top three competitors. Sponsored by the Friends of the Fort Bend County Libraries, the Poetry Slam is free and open to the public. For more information, call the library system’s Communications Office at 281-633-4734.



he Adult Services Department at Fort Bend County Libraries (FBCL) will have an online “Virtual Board-Game Day: Spyfall” event for adults on Tuesday, May 4, beginning at 3 p.m. This virtual event will be online; it will not be in person. In this virtual event, players will participate online in a game of Spyfall – a combination of a role-playing game and a hidden-role game. All players except one are given a role to inhabit and the location for that round. The remaining player is secretly designated as a spy. The players take turns asking each other questions. The spy’s goal is to figure out what location the players are at without tipping off the other players that he/she is the spy. The game ends when the players figure out who the spy is or when the spy figures out what location they are in. The rules of the game are explained here: www.spyfall.app/gamerules. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. To register online visit www.fortbend.lib.tx.us, click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program on the date indicated. Participants may also register by calling George Memorial Library (281-342-4455).

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• 19

Health News

Heart to Heart program helps NICU preemies bond with their moms


unique program at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is helping premature or critically ill newborns create healthy bonds with their mothers – while still in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In the first few days or weeks of life, babies in the NICU are separated physically from their mothers while the nursing staff provides round-the-clock care. The Heart to Heart program uses small pieces of fabric, sewn in the shape of a heart, to transfer the mother’s scent to the baby’s crib or isolette for bonding. It works like this: Staff at the Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land give moms the fabric hearts that can be placed in their bras or under their clothing, along with a poem that explains the program.After a couple of hours, the cloth heart has absorbed the mom’s scent and is placed with the baby to provide comfort. “Babies have an acute sense of smell that is naturally designed to enable them to recognize their mother, even before their eyesight is fully developed,” said Donna Timmer, a nurse, and lactation specialist in the NICU at the Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land, who initiated the program. “When babies are separated in the NICU, they undergo a lot of stress that results in increased crying and elevated vital signs. The hearts soothe them and help them bond with their mother even if mom can’t be there beside them. At the same time, mom’s scent also helps

Newborn babies in the NICU comforted by the isolettes with their mothers’ scent

stabilize baby’s heart rate, blood sugar, and respirations, so there are medical benefits as well as emotional.” Timmer learned about the program from Rush Medical Center in Chicago, and she was impressed with the evidence-based results they achieved. She introduced Heart to Heart at Houston Methodist Sugar Land on Valentine’s Day 2019, after enlisting the help of her neighbors and coworkers to sew hearts. “Moms with babies in the NICU go through a very emotional experience,” Timmer said. “They are excited about their newborns, but they also feel emotionally separated from them because of the physical distance. The Heart to Heart program is a proven way to help them – and their babies – at the same time.” The scent effect works both ways. Moms can use the hearts from the baby’s isolette to help stimulate milk flow for pumping. “Partners can participate, too,” said Timmer.“We’ve had several dads who have been part of the program.” Not surprisingly, the response to Heart to Heart has been heartfelt by new parents and the community. Over the past two years, volunteers have donated over 1,200 flannel hearts. “Most moms just say they are happy to have something that helps them feel closer to their baby,” said Timmer.“Heart to Heart helps babies adapt but it also helps moms feel more involved with their child’s care during those first few days.They just love it.” Visit houstonmethodist.org/childbirth-sl to learn more about Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land Hospital

Moms need timeouts, too


hile timeouts may be torturous for young children eager to get up and go, alone time may sound like paradise to busy mothers. It can be helpful for parents to schedule daily timeouts, though breaks a few times per week can do the trick as well. Timeouts can benefit moms who need a break during or after a long day. Such breaks can be restful and reenergizing. Any woman can benefit from a time-out, but working mothers juggling careers and home life may be especially in need of scheduled breaks. Women who want to incorporate more breaks into their daily routines should know that it’s possible to do so, even on the most hectic days. • You don’t need much time. A break doesn’t need to be extensive to be effective. Schedule around 30 minutes for the timeout.That’s just enough time to watch a sitcom, read a chapter in a book, or enjoy a nice, steamy bath. • Choose a kid-free time of day. If possible, select a timeout period when the kids are away from home or you can be guaranteed some alone time. If this is not possible, arrange with your spouse to look after the kids while you get some alone time. • Find an enjoyable activity. Select an activity for the timeout that you may not have the opportunity to enjoy when other people or tasks require your attention. Listening to music, taking an exercise class, writing in a journal, engaging in artwork or other crafts, or reading a book make for great timeout activities. A timeout is not the time to catch up on chores. • Treat yourself on occasion. Build an extra treat into the timeout, such as a bite of a favorite dessert or purchasing a clothing accessory or luxurious body butter.This can make the timeout even more enjoyable.

Continued on page 25

20 • Greatwood Monthly

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On The Fort Bend Scene

Children flock to George Ranch Historical Park for annual egg hunt photos by AVERIL GLEASON | agleason@fbherald.com










Snyder finds an egg dead ahead! Haruki Miyama races to grab as many eggs as Caleb Kocurek, 2, finds some eggs at the trunk 1Thea 4 he can. 7 of a tree. Holding up a massive egg filled with treats is 2Heidi Snyder, 3. Big sis Salome Sallo makes sure 7-month-old Despite his full basket, Sebastian Hart, 2, 5 Ari doesn’t eat the Easter eggs. 8 searches for more eggs. Helping each other gather as many eggs as 3Theapossible are Evie Bley, Amandaine Sallo and Evelyn, Alexander, and Michele Dyogie are all Madeline Dinh, 2, places her first egg in her Snyder. 6Historical dolled up for the egg hunt at George Ranch 9Easter basket. Park. Michele said this is their third time attending the annual event.

22 • Greatwood Monthly

To advertise, call 281-342-4474

• 23

On The Fort Bend Scene

The Easter Bunny visits the Gingerbread House photos by AVERIL GLEASON | agleason@fbherald.com








bunny hands Hayden Samson an egg to to fill his basket is Hutch Wester. Stella Boettcher fills her basket to the brim. 1The help fill his basket. 4Excited 6 Landon Cruver adds a blue egg to his blue Harper Sidwell puts her first egg in her Easter Hutch Wester takes an egg from the Easter 5basket. 7 basket. 2Bunny. timid Bryson McGuffin approaches the Easter 3ABunny.

Continued on page 29

24 • Greatwood Monthly

Continued from page 20

Vitamins and supplements women need


balanced diet does more than provide sustenance and fuel for daily life. Eating an array of healthy foods gives people the best opportunity to naturally obtain the vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. But certain nutrients may be lacking even when a diet includes an assortment of colorful produce and a careful mix of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The right supplements can help overcome such deficits, and women often need different supplementation than their male counterparts. Vitamins geared toward women are not just a marketing ploy; most contain formulations that cater to women’s unique needs at various stages in life.The Office on Women’s Health and WebMD recommends these vitamins for women to maintain good health. Vitamin D The Cleveland Clinic reports that 42 percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient.Vitamin D comes from diet but also is produced in the skin when the body is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D helps the body absorb and maintain adequate levels of calcium and phosphate, which are essential to bone health. Rush University Medical Center says recent research suggests vitamin D may help guard against severe COVID-19 infections. Some populations have higher levels of vitamin D deficiency, particularly people of color, those with inflammatory bowel diseases and postmenopausal women. Folic acid Folic acid or folate (also known as vitamin B9) helps the body make blood cells and the DNA for new cells. This B vitamin also is key to preventing birth defects like spina bifida. According to the March of

Dimes, one in two pregnancies are unplanned, and adequate folic acid is required at the early stages of gestation to help the fetus develop healthfully. All women who are sexually active are advised to take a multivitamin that contains folic acid in concentrations of 400-800 mcg. In addition, folate can be found in dark, green, leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, and cereals with added folic acid. Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 comes mostly from animal products.Therefore, anyone who follows a vegetarian or vegan diet may need supplementation to ensure they are getting enough B12. Pregnant women will find B12 is important for baby’s development.Without it, the infant may have low birth weight or other health problems, advises the OWH.Vitamin B12 also helps produce healthy red blood cells, may support bone health, could reduce risk of macular degeneration, and may reduce symptoms of depression. After age 50, women’s bodies cannot absorb vitamin B12 as readily, so supplementing or eating fortified foods can help. Calcium Growing girls need 1,300 mg of calcium each day to develop strong bones for adulthood. After menopause, women may need nearly the same dosage (1,200 mg) to help slow the bone loss that comes with aging. Calcium is found in low-fat dairy products and foods with calcium added. Healthy eating may be a goal, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes that 99 out of 100 Americans don’t meet even minimum standards of a balanced diet. Supplementation can help meet those standards and ensure a long, healthy life.


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• 25

Scholastic Spotlights


Dr. Roosevelt Nivens II named lone finalist for LCISD superintendent opening Story and Photo by SCOTT REESE WILLEY | swilley@fbherald.com


amar Consolidated ISD trustees voted Dr. Roosevelt Nivens II as the lone finalist to replace Dr. Thomas Randle as superintendent of LCISD. Dr. Nivens is presently superintendent of Community ISD, located in Nevada,Texas. The vote was unanimous. However, state law requires a 21day waiting period after a school board names a superintendent lone finalist before the future school superintendent can sign a contract. The Lamar CISD School Board officially voted on the position at its April 27 meeting. Dr. Randle is retiring after 20 years at the helm of LCISD. The board’s announcement follows an extensive, nationwide search lasting several months. The search process included gathering input from community stakeholders, which was used to develop a candidate profile that was nationally advertised. More than 47 candidates applied for the position. The board initially narrowed the field of candidates to five candidates and then two finalists who participated in several comprehensive interviews and visited the district and the surrounding community. Lamar CISD Board President Joy Williams believes Dr. Nivens is a great fit to serve the district as its next leader. “Our board is excited to welcome Dr. Nivens to our community,” said President Williams.“We were fortunate that many quality candidates wanted to come to our district. After an exhaustive process, our trustees became convinced that Dr. Nivens is the right leader for our rapidly growing district and that he will promote a high level of success for all our students.” Dr. Nivens has served as the Superintendent of Schools for Community ISD since 2015, a school district encompassing four communities located in the southeast corner of fastgrowth Collin County in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

His public education career is centered around advocating and supporting the very best educational opportunities for all students, Williams said. He began his 24-year career as a teacher in Dallas ISD, assistant principal, and principal of Lancaster Junior High and Lancaster High School, and Assistant Superintendent of Achievement and Organizational Management in Lancaster ISD. Prior to his public education career, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg,Virginia, and his Master of Education and Doctor of Education from Texas A&M-Commerce. Through his leadership in Community ISD, student safety, high academic achievement, and student social-emotional wellbeing were the priorities. Under his administration, the district earned an A-rating in 2018-2019, realized a 20 percent increase in the number of Advanced Placement students receiving a three or higher on the AP exam, and strengthened student participation in dual credit classes with 98 percent earning college and high school credit, and 10 percent of the graduating class earned an associate degree upon high school graduation. Understanding that each student’s path to success is different, he also expanded Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs and CTE professional certifications, which students can use in the workforce upon graduation. Dr. Nivens said he looks forward to working with the school board, parents, staff, students, and the Lamar CISD community on a shared vision of providing the very best educational experiences for all students. “Lamar Consolidated ISD is a distinguished school district with a long history of educational excellence,” Nivens said. “I am honored to be named as lone finalist for superintendent. I look forward to meeting students, teachers, staff, and families soon. Together I believe we can continue and build upon the excellence of Lamar CISD as one family.” His wife, Karla, and son Roosevelt Nivens III joined him at the board meeting where they were treated to dinner with the trustees. Dr. Randle wished Nivens well and the school district staff offered to help the Nivens in their move to the community in any way possible. Roosevelt III is 17 and looks forward to playing basketball at whichever campus he is assigned to.

Archery students place at state


Dr. Roosevelt Nivens II, left, was named lone finalist to replace Dr. Thomas Randle, right, as superintendent of Lamar Consolidated ISD.

26 • Greatwood Monthly

alvary Episcopal Preparatory students were delighted to have archery for the second year in a row as a sport. The archery students have been learning and growing under the direction of October Smith (Manager), Scott Lightle (Project Coordinator) and Jennifer Cheesman (Project Coordinator) at Long Acres Ranch. Five students represented Calvary at the Texas-NASP State Archery Tournament. Calvary is

Izzy Cole














proud to announce that for the targets, Elizabeth Yates made the leaderboard, placing second in overall elementary girls. For 3D, Elizabeth Yates placed first and Izzy Cole placed second overall elementary girls. Calvary students showed their school pride and dedication to archery

CEP announces Wyland National Mural Contest Winners


alvary Episcopal 5th grade students won the Wyland National Mural Contest with their conservation themed mural which was based on our local Brazos River design. This contest focuses on conservation issues around the world and encourages students to interpret those issues through art. This student project was completed 100% by students, including designing and painting.These 5th grade students won $500 in art supplies for CEP and their mural is now on display at Long Acres Ranch.

From left: October Smith, David Okere, Donnie Fondon, Elizabeth Yates, Izzy Cole and Elliana Shogren Sunday, May 13, 2018





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Mother’s Day barbecue

4 Years Old

The Wallis Knights of Columbus Council will hold its annual Mother’s Day barbecue chicken and sausage drive-thru at the Wallis Columbus Club Hall, 703 Columbus Road, from 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 13, until sold out. No sides will be sold. For more information, call 979-478-7268.

Spaghetti fundraiser

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berg. Texas Legacy Czech Band will provide the dancing music. For more information, call 281-232-3531.

Report on new San Felipe museum

A program presented by staff from the San Felipe de Austin State Historical Site will report on the newly opened state of the art museum at the park near Sealy. The $12 million facility is a joint product of the Texas Historical Commission and private partners. The Fort Bend County Historical Commission is hosting the program at its quarterly meeting on Tuesday, May 15 at 3 p.m. NOTE: Location of this meeting is the main meeting room of the George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview in Richmond. The event is free and open to the public.

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14 Months Old Parents: Cody & Sara Cook Grandparents: Diana Cook, John Towler, Janie Towler


Starting on Page 8B

18 Months Old

Parents: Danny & Chelsea Wardlow Grandparents: Pat Bruns, Tom & Devoni Wardlow, Shirley Corbett

Birth to 2 Years

Birth to 2 Years

2nd Place

Thank you to our advertisers for making our beautiful baby contest a winner

3 to 4 Years Sunday , May 13 is Mother’s Day. Herald Reporter Diana Nguyen asked our readers to share their fondest memories of their moms. Here’s what they had to say:

Wyatt Horak 4 Years Old

Parents: Kevin & Kelli Horak Grandparents: Pat Horak & Corrine Schumann

Daniel 3Ornelas: to 4 Years Me and my mom were best friends. She was really sweet, she was a wonderful cook. We loved to spend time in the kitchen together. Before she passed, the one thing was to learn all her cooking $500 methods. She OFF said, Invisalign for Moms! ‘I can’t be there to cook it for you, but I want to make sure you know how to cook it.’ That was awesome for her to teach me.


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Kamrin Sosa — George Junior High eighth-grader: She teaches me to have confidence and be comfortable with who I am. She influences by teaching me things about life and showing me how to handle situations. — Situations with my friends, with boys, with my sister a lot. One of my favorite memories of her is when we were running late for school one day. We have tile floors and she had on heels. She slid across the floor and she hit her head on the wall.

n nn Fort Bend County Commissioner Vincent Morales: Mom is 81, not as active anymore, but Mom was always very outgoing, loving to all her family, always willing to do whatever it took to make my brother and I happy. She always put family first. Whether it was when my grandmother got up in age, when there was a need to take care of the grandkids, she always put family first.


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Fallen WW II pilot honored for service



13, 2018


BY MARQUITA GRIFFIN wreckage, Taylor in tow. mgriffin@fbherald.com Their position had been reported before hitting the water and after a difficult It was Nov. 11, 1942 and most of the several-hour rescue involving a Sikorcountry was remembering the 24th anni- ski S-39 amphibian aircraft and a patrol versary of the end of The Great War. boat, both Koym and Taylor were pulled On that same day pilots in the from the sea. Civil Air Patrol — a civilian However, both men auxiliary of the U.S. Army succumbed to hypoAir Corps formed in thermia, making 1941 to provide civilian them the sixth and air support through seventh Civil Air border and coastal Patrol pilots to patrols — took to lose their lives the skies to protect while on duty. shipping channels. A special reTwo men, 1st Lt. union Alfred Hermann Koym was Koym, who was laid to rest in from Rosenberg, and Yoakum beneath 1st Lt. James C. Taythe Civil Air Patrol lor, who was from Baton emblem on Nov. 18, Rouge, Louisiana, were 1942. among those Civil Air At the recent 86th Patrol pilots fulfilling A bronze replica of the Gold Medal Koym family retheir duties. — awarded to World War II members union held in East The two were flying of the Civil Air Patrol — was present- Bernard, Koym was their scheduled patrol ed to the Koym family at a recent re- posthumously honover the Gulf off the ored for his service union to honor Alfred H. Koym. Louisiana coast when with a certificate unexpectedly their airand bronze replica craft lost its engine and crashed into the of the Gold Medal, which are awarded to water. The impact injured Taylor, and World War II members of the Civil Air Koym not only removed him from the Patrol. sinking plane and inflated their life jackets, he was able to swim away from the SEE KOYM, PAGE 3A

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Fulshear High School junior Sydney Billings will be the first person to graduate from the high school.

Glenn Allen Mitchell, 76 Eric Shea Humble, 41 See page 5A

Today’s Scripture Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar. Isaiah 33:17

Thought for Today “It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.” — Erma Bombeck, American humorist (1927-1996)




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Going 1st class

Fulshear High School junior is 1st from new campus to graduate

BY AVERIL GLEASON 2016. The first graduating class is set to agleason@fbherald.com walk the stage in 2019. But the 16-year-old junior is graduatFulshear High School is full of firsts. ing early. The school’s juniors were the first “I think it’s pretty cool to know I’m to earn their class rings early this year. literally the only person graduating,” Students had the opportunity to order Sydney said. their letter jackets last year. “I love being able to say I’m one of the Nothing beats the first student to first people to graduate from my high graduate. school.” And Sydney Billings is doing just Sydney transferred from Foster High that. School in 2016. Fulshear High School opened its doors to freshmen and sophomores in SEE BILLINGS, PAGE 3A

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pecial teachers

Lamar Consolidated ISD educators recognized for going ‘above and beyond’

BY DIANA NGUYEN ognition of your hard work and dedicadnguyen@fbherald.com tion to your Special Education students.” George Ranch High School Assistant “Every child deserves a champion; an Principal Christopher G. Cuellar nomiadult who will never give up on them, who nated Masters, a life skills teacher who understands the power of connection and was also named the district’s Special Edinsists they become the best they can pos- ucation Teacher of the Month. sibly be.” — Rita Pierson, educator fea“She represents so much more than tured on TED Talks. that title for our campus and she certainThroughout the years of serving in La- ly represents the best of teachers for more mar Consolidated ISD as a teacher, prin- than one month of the year,” said Cuellar. cipal or paraprofessional, Tara Masters, “Tara represents true sacrifice and Hailey Volz, Debbie Isom and Toni Scott servant leadership for her students and championed the students in their lives. colleagues. One of the most giving people And it didn’t go unnoticed. I know on our campus, day in and day out, Masters, Volz, Isom and Scott each re- she goes above and beyond for her kidceived an LCISD Special Education Par- dos.” ents Advisory Committee Appreciation SEE LCISD, PAGE 8A Award at the last SEPAC meeting, “in rec-



CEP National Art Honor Society inducts new students

Edwin Duns s Old more

19 Month


Specia Cong l ratu lati ons to all


Villarreal pecial awards


rs 4 Yea Obituaries 3 to


Mayes, Polansky Lil Polansky,Brad & Roger & Ellen Diana Hall, Polansky, Myrna & Len Arline Meyers, Kaplan

Brayden Guerra 2 Years

Parents Old : Grandp Nicole Kett & Wade arents: Guerra

A Very

Dana Sheridan presents a Lamar Consolidated ISD SEPAC Appreciation Award to Williams Elementary School kindergarten teacher Hailey Voz.




3 Weeks

Parents Old Grandp: Steven and Sheri arents: Rebecca

From left, bottom row: Vivian Troung, Ava Lee, Wonu Adedeji, Thomas He, Olivia Kocian, Joshua Standlee, Sloan Johnston, Lola Perches, Sara Catherine McDonald, Cora Kuperus, Dylan Rodriguez; top row: Kristina Castillo, Joshua Babin, Jayden Barron, Zoya Cherry and Elizabeth Yates.

2 Month

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4 Yea

Myles Vince


Keith &

Alden Jack

Read more on Page 3B

Horak Wyatt


Gurecky s

23 Month



Sarah Webster of Richmond was one of 16 University of Dallas psychology majors to recently present a senior thesis during the spring 2018 semesOld ter. Her thesis was titled “You are My ann 4 Years Horak World: A Kelli Phenomenological SchumAnalysis of the & Understanding of Parenthood s: Kevin & Corrine When a Child is Diagnosed with a TerParent minal Illness.” Pat Horak


St. John’s UCC Women’s Guild to meet Wednesday

The Fort Bend Retired Educators 11:30 a.m. Associationwill hold its last meeting of The scholarship winners will be anthe 2017-18 program year on Wednes- nounced after the luncheon. The menu day, beginning at 11 a.m. in the St. includes chicken-wild rice casserole, John’s United Church of Christ parish a sweet pepper and tomato salad on hall, 1513 West Avenue in Rosenberg. fresh greens, hot rolls, brownie topped The retired teachers luncheon will with ice cream, and tea and coffee for begin at 11:15 a.m. with the induction $15. Email hphaynesgmail.com for resof new officers and lunch served at ervations.

I thought this was clever word play: “Why did the cows return to the marijuana field?” “It was the pot calling the cattle back!”

Around the Bend


Rosenberg community leader died while defending homeland

Jesse Mata: My mom [Olivia Mata] would always say, ‘It doesn’t matter how poor we are, that doesn’t mean you cannot be clean.’ She always made sure that when we went out to school, church, any outing, we were clean. She would make sure our hair was combed. you know in the farm, you’re dirty. But she would always tell us, ‘There’s no excuse to not be clean.’ She would also say, ‘always respect the elders. Whether you’re black, brown, white.’ In those days, that’s all that lived here. We grew up as a close-knit family. It was always her thing, be clean and respect your elders.

Fort Bend Journal

Old Bryant ardt 4 Years a & Austin Engelh s: Amand & Diana Parent : Garrett arents


Needville Boy Scout Troop 129 will hold its 2018 annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday from 5-8 p.m. at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church Family Life Center. To-go plates or dine in and enjoy all you can eat for $8.

3rd Place

Memories of Mom 7 Months Old Parents: Charlie & Brittany Toman Grandparents: Jeff & Sheri Hajovsky Bernadette & Charles Toman

t 1s ce Pla

s Old 14 Month& Sara Cook Cook, s: Cody Parent arents: Diana Towler , Janie Grandp Towler John

2nd Place

Kambri Toman

d 3r ce Pla

Lexi Lew


Mother’s Day

Oh, What A Beautiful Baby!




FORT BEND February 2019

Valentino Cristiano Villarreal 1 Parents Year Old : Jerry and Beverly Grandp arents: Villarreal Faustino

and MillieHelen Torres, Villarreal



TERRI SABOL releases


BOOK in a unique


February 2019

Peca n Grov e Plus


Valentine’s Day

Luncheon supports autism awareness

A publication of the

Knitowski finds solace in herg award-winnin needlework












alvary Episcopal Preparatory announced the induction of new students to their National Art Honor Society and National Junior Art Honor Society inductees. NAHS and NJAHS is an organization that magnifies the innovation, skills, and scholarship that the art program brings to students, Calvary and the community. Congratulations students!



supports Luncheo n s autism awarenes

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28 • Greatwood Monthly

From left, teacher Kristina Castillo, Kadyn Boettcher, Stacey Smith, Michael Wan, Sarah Williams, Zak Shogren, William Broussard, Elliana Shogren, Haley Nichols, Sabrina Hunter and Peter Yang

Continued from page 24

Re-enactment of Runaway Scrape at George Ranch Historical Park includes spectators by SCOTT REESE WILLEY | swilley@fbherald.com


ost Texans, if not most Americans, know about the role the Alamo played in the war for Texas’ independence. Fewer, however, may know about the Runaway Scrape, a strategy employed by Sam Houston to deprive the Mexican Army of food, shelter and other provisions during their march across Texas in the spring of 1836. Last month visitors to George Ranch Historical Park were treated to a re-enactment of Houston’s grand defensive strategy. And spectators were allowed to take part. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s re-enactment was canceled and this year’s drew few re-enactors or spectators. So organizers invited visitors to play part of the fleeing Texians. And spectators did so with relish, with many screaming “THEY’RE COMING!” and “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!” Re-enactor Henry Jones, who helped orchestrate the event, recounted the Runaway Scrape for spectators and the importance the strategy played in the outcome of the war. “The Mexican soldadoes shot and killed women and children along with their men folk,” he said.“That’s a fact.” The annual event is usually held in an open field and spectators watch from afar. But because there were so few re-enactors and spectators, the event was held in the pioneer village where the Texian re-enactors had set up camp to demonstrate life in early Texas. Texians fired a cannon at some approaching Mexican foot soldiers, who returned fire, sending the Texians fleeing. Mexican soldiers on horseback arrived at

Mexican soldadoes on foot and horseback chase the fleeing Texians during a re-enactment of the now-famous Runaway Scrape, which helped Sam Houston’s Texian Army defeat the much larger and experienced Mexican Army in the war for Texas independence in April 1836.

Tammy Acosta and Gary Burnett demonstrate how Texians lived during their flight from the advancing Mexican Army. “We own this land but the Mexicans want us to leave,” Acosta tells spectators. She and her family have re-enacted the historic event for more than two decades at George Ranch Historic Park.


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the same time, sending the Texians and their families fleeing. Both sides exchanged fire for about 15 minutes. At one point, a soldado shot and killed a young boy, who fell mortally wounded in a dirt field. “YOU KILLED MY SON!” yelled a woman wearing period clothing. She was felled by gunfire seconds later as she ran to her son. Later, Jones would compliment her on her death scene. “That was some fine improvisation,” he told the re-enactor, a member of a family of re-enactors. The woman’s mother said her family has been coming to George Ranch Historical Park for at least two decades. Another daughter, 34, said she has been playing a part since she was 17. Last year, her father played a Texian, and showed visitors how

pioneer families lived off the land. This year he was pressed into service as a Mexican soldier on horseback. Former Rosenberg resident Joe Southern said he has played a Texian in the event for the past four or five years. On Saturday he wore buckskins and a leather, wide-brimmed hat for the role. His rifle was a replica of the early flintlock firearms many Texians possessed at the time. Southern managed to get off about a half dozens shots at the advancing Mexicans before he was shot down. Jones took a few moments after the battle to educate spectators on the Runaway Scrape and its role in securing the Texians’ victory.

A boy is shot dead in a barren field by a Mexican soldado. His mother was felled by Mexicans seconds later as she attempted to reach him. The actress is applauded by the organizers for her quick thinking and improvisation. “I just thought, that’s something a mother would do,” she explained later. “And I do a good death scene.”

A Texian hides amid a split-rail fence to take shots at advancing Mexican soldiers. They later shot him dead as and other Texians fought a rearguard action to allow the other pioneers to escape.

Texians fire a cannon at advancing Mexican troops in a re-enactment of the Runaway Scrape at George Ranch Historical Park.

30 • Greatwood Monthly

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