West Fort Bend - August 2022

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FORT BEND August 2022


A nonprofit’s determination to empower the community through education


Premier Martial Arts opens its new school in Rosenberg

A publication of the

E H T R O F M S R O IF ENT N U M D L L N A NRO e) R A E 00 Valu E 0 G 3 E RST ($2 E R F FI


545 FM 2977, Rosenberg, TX 77469 pmarosenberg.com

Contents &Staff 6 FEATURE STORY

Fort Bend Hope continues its mission of

CHAIRMAN, EDITOR & PUBLISHER Clyde King cking@hartmannews.com

WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Marquita Griffin Scott Reese Willey

MANAGING EDITOR Marquita Griffin mgriffin@fbherald.com

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Melinda Maya mmaya@fbherald.com

ADVERTISING Stefanie Bartlett sbartlett@fbherald.com Ruby Polichino ruby@fbherald.com

Rachel Cavazos rcavazos@fbherald.com

educating the community.

10 TALK OF THE TOWN Premier Martial Arts champions


character development.

TO ADVERTISE If you are interested in advertising in the West Fort Bend Living, please call 281-342-4474 and ask for Stefanie Bartlett or Ruby Polichino. We’ll be happy to send rates, and deadline information to you.


PHOTO & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS We are looking for fresh story ideas and enjoy publishing your articles in the West Fort Bend Living. If you have an story idea or photo to publish please send your information to mgriffin@fbherald.com with “West Fort Bend Living” in the subject line.

Auditions are open for the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas.

©2022 West Fort Bend Living. All Rights Reserved. West Fort Bend Monthly is a sister publication of Fulshear Living Monthly, Greatwood Monthly, Pecan Grove Monthly and is a publication of the Fort Bend Herald. Our publishing headquarters is 1902 S. Fourth Street, Rosenberg Texas 77471.



Fort Bend Foot Center


Dr. Brian W. Zale, DPM, FACFAS Readers’ Choice Winner for Best Podiatrist in Fort Bend “My sincerest thanks for your vote of confidence!”

Dr. Brian Wm Zale DPM., FACFAS, a board certified foot and ankle surgeon in Rosenberg, Texas is a Podiatrist who has been serving the Richmond, Rosenberg and Sugar Land communities for over 35 years. We specialize in foot and ankle surgry, heel pain, bunions, diabetic foot conditions, and all other related concerns to the foot and ankle. Our staff is committed to providing the finest podiatric care in a warm and friendly environment in order to make you feel relaxed and comfortable. Heal faster and better with our new FDA approved MLS laser therapy. Come in and check it out! 3926 Ave H Rosenberg, TX 77471









www.brianzale.com H H 4 • West Fort Bend Living

Dr. Zale has been chosen 7 times by Fort Bend Herald readers as Best Podiatrist in the annual Readers Choice poll.




The “Fort Bend Hope Tree”

Adam Yates playing chess with Guillermina Figeroa, Derrick Summy, and Danion Hilliard in Chess Club.

6 • West Fort Bend Living

Gardening Club lead by Jeremy Western at First Methodist Carlos Nunez, Alexander Delgado, Rosenberg Church. and Emmanuel Vasquez playing after they finished their homework.

Tutor Timothy Benz teaching his ESL 1 and 2 From left, Robert Torres , Alexander evening class. Delgado, and Carlos Nunez preparing their pizza in Cooking Club.

Larry Callies, founder of The Black Cowboy Museum in Rosenberg, talking to students about his work and achievements.

FORT BEND HOPE | fortbendhope.org @FortBendHopeCommunityCenter

To advertise, call 281-342-4474


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8 • West Fort Bend Living







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Talk -of-th e-To wn

Develop discipline and character at Premier Martial Arts


artial Arts is a sport long revered by people of all abilities, health levels, backgrounds, and cultures and has found itself the focal point of creative works in films, comics, and even music. But the sport far exceeds its entertaining and adrenaline-inducing elements. For scores of martial arts students, the sport enhances their skills of strength, discipline, and focus, all of which can be advantageous for conflict, competition, and even health goals. Premier Martial Arts in Rosenberg, currently the largest martial arts franchise in the world, elevates the sport to another level, though, said franchise owner Master Chris Davis, who has been training in martial arts for more than two decades. Davis, who owns the Rosenberg and Pearland, Texas locations of Premier Martial Arts, said the martial arts school isn’t “a belt factory,” and the skills taught easily translate to a student’s daily living. While earning a black belt is the goal of many a young student, at Premier Martial Arts, reaching that level means more than achieving physical accomplishments; it signifies character growth, which Davis stressed, is the school’s nucleus. “We are focused on developing good human beings as opposed to just teaching punching and kicking,” said Davis. “Every school will teach the punching and the kicking, but at Premier Martial Arts, we have a heavy emphasis on character. And this character development aspect is built into the program.” As an example, he explained the requirements to achieve a black belt. For the duration of the lessons, the students are encouraged to maintain honor roll grades, pass their classes and demonstrate discipline and focus at school, at home, and in the martial arts school. They must also complete community service hours and provide a letter of recommendation from a non-family member. The students earn patches as they complete requirements, and those patches, Davis said, “signify they achieved those goals.” Martial arts, especially for children, provides beneficial exercise — “For at least an hour a day, it gets them moving and improving their immune system,” Davis said — and skills necessary for focusing regularly. “Martial arts is one of the best ways to teach kids discipline and concentration.”

by MARQUITA GRIFFIN | mgriffin@fbherald.com

gether,” Davis said. “The kids can have class on one side and the parents can have their class on the other side which cuts down the time spent here. It allows more family time at home.” Beyond character development and showcasing its new facility, Premier Martial Arts also strives to accommodate students who may need modifications for physical issues. “Anyone of any fitness level can join the program,” he said, sharing that he has students who are deaf, wheelchair-bound, or have prosthetic limbs. He added that the martial arts school also instructs high-functioning students with autism. “We will modify the program because the point is for those people who want to, to come in and do the training.” He said there are cases where Premier Martial Arts cannot make adaptations because of safety concerns for the student, but those instances are rare. “I can only think of two out of thousands that we had to turn away in the past five to six years, and it was sad when that happened. But we will be upfront if we can’t meet the modification requirements.” “But,” he accentuated, “We try to.”

ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY Premier Martial Arts in Rosenberg features four instructors, including Davis, and currently teaches around 200 students. He hopes to reach at least 350 students at the Rosenberg location, and Davis believes through engaging and genuine interaction with the community, the school can meet that objective. “Word of mouth is the best way to reach people,” he said, explaining why Premier Martial Arts offers a free introductory class and a referral program. The introductory class “is a one-on-one lesson with an instructor where you can get all your questions answered and see which program is the right fit without the pressure of being in a class,” he explained. The referral program is open to current students who can receive a $100 cash reward if they bring in a friend who signs up. “The way I see it, is if you are having a good For 15 years Primer Martial Arts has served the Fort Bend community. See page 3 for its Back To School time as a student, and you know your friends will promotions. have a good time, we want encourage you to bring them.” Another unique way Premier Martial Arts engages with the community is through its birthday party package that parents can purchase for current students or children who may find martial LONGTIME SERVING arts appealing. Although Premier Martial Arts recently moved to the Summer Lakes At the birthday party, the celebrated child receives a free karate uniform, Center on Minonite Road (FM 2977) in Rosenberg into a state-of-the-art a birthday black belt to wear for the day, age-appropriate games, and the facility with new classrooms, the school has served the area for 15 years. chance to break a board in front of the class. “We’ve been in the area for a long time, but people think we’re brand The experience, Davis said, is a fun way to introduce or encourage parnew,” he said with a light laugh. “Our facility is new but we aren’t.” ticipation in martial arts across age groups. Premier Martial Arts also offers This longstanding franchise benefits adults as well, considering it also discounts for law enforcement and active military. offers classes for the adult population. Evaluations can start at three All these efforts are to let the Fort Bend community know the caliber of years old and cover multiple age groups. the martial arts school. “I like to say we teach ages 4 to 104,” Davis said. “We want to continue growing,” Davis said. “And we also want everyone Another winning attribute of Premier Martial Arts in Rosenberg is the to know we strive to be the premier martial arts school for this community.” design of its new facility, which allows two classes to run simultaneously For more information about Premier Martial Arts, visit premiermartialarts. — a massive appeal to those who want to learn martial arts as a family. com/rosenberg, email info@pmarosenberg.com or call 281-239-6401. Follow “We’re great for families, and we have 10 to 12 families who train toits Facebook page @PremierMartialArtsRosenberg.

10 • West Fort Bend Living

Youth in Philanthropy awards scholarships to deserving seniors


he George Foundation’s “Youth in Philanthropy” program is shaping the leaders of tomorrow by energizing students to serve their community today. “This year, we had 110 students formed 10 teams working together to serve 27 local nonprofits,” said Ammie Blahuta, director of special programs for the George Foundation. The students represented 20 high schools from across Fort Bend County. Together they provided 3,300 service hours. With support from the Fort Bend County Chamber, this year was the 24th Youth in Philanthropy Celebration held at Constellation Field. Representatives from Fort Bend ISD, Lamar Consolidated ISD, Calvary Episcopal Preparatory and Launch Academy helped celebrate the students and their leadership. The nonprofit partners were awarded a total of $45,000 in grants from The George Foundation on behalf of the students. Nonprofit partners include: Access Health, East Fort Bend Human Needs, Boys and Girls Club of Fort Bend County, Parks Youth Ranch, Catholic Charities Mamie George, George Ranch Historical Park, Child Advocates of Fort Bend, Rosenberg Railroad Museum, Hope for Three, YMCA Fort Bend, Reigning Strength, Fort Bend Ramps, God’s Garden, Second Mile Mission, Texana, Fort Bend Women’s Center, Fort Bend Family Promise, Fort Bend Museum, Edison Arts Foundation, Fort Bend Rainbow Room, Cullinan Park, and Rosenberg-Richmond Helping Hands. “Through the generosity of the community and local foundations, 67 scholarships were awarded accumulating $120,500,” Blahuta said. The George Foundation and Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation awarded $40,000 each to YIP students. The Fred and Mable R. Parks Foundation donated $20,000. Named scholarships were presented on behalf of Access Health, Kay Danziger/Danziger Family, Frost Bank, Hudson Building Systems/Wes

and Amanda Hudson, Kermally Family, LJA Engineering, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, Next Level Urgent Care, Oc-cu-Soft, SiEnvironmental, Methodist Hospital and several other community donors. The top awards of $5,000 were awarded to Kayla Garcia, Junior at Terry High School on behalf of the Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation, Jasmine Wani a senior from Hightower High School on behalf of the Fred & Mable R. Parks Foundation and Alexsovan Hory a senior from Lamar Consolidated High School on behalf of The George Foundation in honor of Dee Koch.

Photograph courtesy of Lindsey Wilkins | The top awards of $5,000 were awarded to Kayla Garcia on behalf of the Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation, Jasmine Wani on behalf of the Fred & Mable R. Parks Foundation and Alexsovan Hory on behalf of The George Foundation in honor of Dee Koch.

High-demand TSTC programs offer more flexibility this fall


his fall, Texas State Technical College’s Computer Networking and Systems Administration, Cybersecurity, and Drafting and Design programs will offer students the choice to complete their training ei-

To advertise, call 281-342-4474

• 11

ther fully online or in a format that combines online learning with in-person lab time -- opportunities that have not been available in these programs since before the pandemic. Computer Networking and Systems Administration students who enroll in the in-person/online learning format can look forward to getting their hands on network cables, servers, and Cisco routers and switches in the lab, TSTC instructor Renee Blackshear said. “It will be industry-level engagement,” she said. “We also get to work with students on their soft skills and help pull them out of their shells.” Students have the power to select flexible lab times based on their schedules, with the added benefit of connecting with instructors who offer real-world advice and experience. “I’m hoping that when students come to labs, it will allow them to open up to us; building connections with them was the one thing that I missed during the pandemic,” TSTC instructor Adrian Medrano said. “I think being able to physically connect things together is going to help in students’ learning processes.” Blackshear and Medrano urged prospective students to take advantage of the opportunity to schedule time to tour the facilities and see where they will be studying -- and the equipment they will work with. TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree, certificates of completion and an occupational skills award in Computer Networking and Systems Administration, as well as an advanced technology certificate in Cloud Computing. In Texas, computer network support specialists can earn an average annual salary of $62,280, according to onetonline.org, which forecasts that the number of these positions will grow 17% in the state through 2028. TSTC Cybersecurity instructor Norma Colunga-Hernandez has also missed day-to-day and face-to-face interactions with students. She hopes that the in-person/online format of training will help to reestablish a campus cybersecurity club. Colunga-Hernandez highly encourages students who are new to the Cybersecurity program to choose the in-person/online format, especially in their initial semesters “For new students, this is going to be their first time seeing this equipment and information,” she said. “It’s really important that they get the help they need so they can build a really strong foundation.” Ideally, having Cybersecurity instructors in labs will help students advance, Colunga-Hernandez added. “We can watch over their shoulder and see if they’re struggling,” she said. “They can get their answers faster and progress better.” TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree, certificates of completion and occupational skills awards in Cybersecurity -- plus an advanced technology certificate in Digital Forensics Specialist. Information security engineers can earn an average annual salary of $84,220 in Texas, according to onetonline.org. The number of these positions is forecast to grow by 20% throughout the state by 2028, the website shows. Whether TSTC Drafting and Design students are pursuing degrees in Architectural/Civil Drafting Technology or Engineering Graphics and Design Technology -- or a blend of both in Architectural Design and Engineering Graphics Technology, they will be able to get access to industry-level tools and equipment when they take advantage of the in-person/online format. That includes CAD stations, gaming-level laptops, plotters, laser printers and traditional drafting tables. “It’s going to benefit students in several ways,” TSTC instructor Bryan Clark said. “They’re going to have a place they can come to. They’re not going to have to buy a computer and source a space in their house and hope everyone is quiet so they can get their work done. There will be a seat available for them and a qualified instructor to answer any questions.” TSTC instructor Corby Myers agreed, citing the industry experience that instructors can share with their students. “To me, the biggest benefit to students is when they walk into the lab, there will be two instructors who have spent years in the industry doing the job that we are preparing them to do,” he said. “If they have questions not only about the coursework but about what’s it like out there, what can they expect on the first day of the job -- or the 366th day on the job -- we can tell them because we’ve been there.” Fall enrollment for TSTC is underway. Learn more at tstc.edu.

12 • West Fort Bend Living

Creative Learning Society kid’s drama camp allows kids to explore acting, build self esteem


By RILEY CARROLL | rcarroll@fbherald.com

uring the current Creative Learning Society annual drama camp for kids ages eight through 15 performed episodes one through four of “The Mystery Club” written by Roz Mihalko. The week one camp covered episode one: “The Case of the Missing Camera,” taught and directed by Beth Ackerman-Ornelas, Stacy Hall and Cameron Lovelace. Ackerman-Ornelas, the owner of Creative Learning Society, has always had a passion for theater and has dedicated her time to sharing her passion with others. “Theater taught me so much as a child and I never really realized all of the lessons that I got from it; from self-confidence and leadership to learning how to work as a team to building public speaking skills, building comfort with being in front of a group, working with others [and] depending on others,” Ackerman-Ornelas said. “I have a love for theater and so I’m just trying to spread that love for the kids out in our area.” Ackerman-Ornelas’ success in spreading her interest in theater has undoubtedly rubbed off on the kids she directs. The young actors expressed enthusiasm about the adult Mystery Dinner Theater led Ackerman-Ornelas to follow a similar theme for the upcoming drama camps. “We thought it would be really cute to do something along with the genre of theater that we do for the adults in the evening,” Ackerman-Ornelas explained. “[The kids have] seen the adult murder mystery information and they’ve expressed interest so we thought it’d be really great [to perform] Mystery Club for the kids.” The 35-minute play followed the story of middle-school students forming clubs at the beginning of a school year. Meanwhile, a yearbook student’s camera was stolen. Subsequently, the students form a Mystery Club to solve the case of the stolen camera. “I was so pleased with their performance,” Ackerman-Ornelas expressed. “We had one run-through earlier today and they struggled a bit, but they really shined in the performance. I was so proud of them, I’m always like a little proud mom in the corner.” For more information about the Creative Learning Society, visit www. creativelearningsociety.com.

Celeste Donis, Diego Donis, Nathan Martinez and Dylan Hall perform The Mystery Club by Roz Mihalko for Creative Learning Society’s week one drama camp.

Three young actors, Zander Poe, Celeste Donis and Adrian Cantu deliver their lines for The Mystery Portraying a fantasy character, youth actors Zander Poe and Club play put on by The Adrian Cantu shine under the spotlight at the Agatha Theater. Creative Learning Society.

To advertise, call 281-342-4474

• 13

What is Eating My Plants?


By CHRIS TAYLOR | Fort Bend County Master Gardener

de n i n



hat is eating my plants? • Rabbits have a keen sense of smell and appear to This is a somewhat dislike the following smells – dried sulfur, onion, garopen-ended question that lic, red pepper, and even, shavings of Irish Springs has many different possibilities. From soap placed in small bags throughout the garden. insects to birds to animals, there is a wide These should be sprinkled throughout the garden. range of critters that feast on our plants. • Commercial products are available as well. They But, perhaps one of the most pervasive are often sold as Rabbit and Deer Repellent. of these critters is the Cottontail rabbit. In • Eliminate all possible hiding places for them. my subdivision, we have a seemingly steady Rabbits need shelter such as brush piles, burrows or crop of rabbits in our area at all times. Since bushes in order to hide from predators. Our area is frethey are voracious eaters and can do extensive Figure 1 | A clean-cut Lantana stem. (Photo by quented by hawks looking for rabbits and other small damage to our gardens and flowerbeds, I would C. Taylor.) prey. Removing their hiding places may force them to Dr.toKyle D. McCrea andways Dr. in Victoria like address some of the which toVo limit go to other areas. the damage. Completely eliminating their presence is a very tough task. • However, the most reliable method appears to simply put chickCottontails have their signature cotton ball for a tail. They prefer an environen-wire fencing around your plants to create a physical barrier between ment that provides them shelter in which to hide. They will feed on a wide vathe rabbits and your plant. Several of my neighbors have done this and it riety of vegetation, but their preference is green vegetation (new plant shoots). seems to work. At the same time, the fencing needs to be discreet. This Plant damage topic is starting to become an issue for our Home Owner’s Association Around my neighborhood, rabbits are usually seen eating grass, and (HOA) and their regulations, so be sure to check with them before installsometimes, plants. They have very sharp teeth because they leave a ing any fencing. clean, sharp cut on plant stems. Figure 1 is a photo of a Lantana plant All of these are techniques that may help you to keep the rabbits from in my flowerbed. Notice the sharply cut stem. At my home, they tend to eating your plants. While we may not be able to eliminate the rabbits, we prefer my Lantana and Plumbago plants. may be able to slow them down a little! So, what can we do? Happy Gardening! I consulted the Old Farmers Almanac along with the Texas A&M Agril_______________________________________________________ ife article on ways to get rid of rabbits, or perhaps, just minimize the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist damage. I refer you to this article for more details of the various things to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in educating the community using Home fortoDentistry sprinkle, spray or placeYour in your gardens slow the rabbits down. Some research-based horticultural information. For additional resources about of their proposed techniques seem a bit strange but may work. With the this month’s topic read Texas A&M AgriLife’s “Controlling Cottontail and Dr. McCrea has beenthat creating healthy, beautiful in it could be difficult frequent downpours we have in Fort Bendsmiles County, Jackrabbit Damage” (agrilifeextension.tamu.edu), and Richmond/Rosenberg sinceon 1994. Dr.plants. McCrea and Dr. Vo are to keep these applications your The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s “How to Identify and Get Rid of Rabbits” both graduates and current Professors at the Herman Hospital Some of their of methods include: (almanac.com/pest/rabbits). based General Practice Residency Program for UTDS Houston. Their goal is to work with each patient to produce the best possible outcome based on that patient’s individual needs and desires.

From Check-ups and Cleanings to Implants and Braces, We want to be your home for Dentistry Visit us at www.mccreadds.com to learn more about our office, our outstanding team, and the services we offer. 601 South Second St. Dr. Kyle D. McCrea & Dr. Victoria Vo

Richmond, TX 77469 YOUR HOME FOR DENTISTRY 281-342-2121

Dr. McCrea has been creating healthy, beautiful smiles in Richmond/Rosenberg since 1994. Dr. McCrea and Dr. Vo are both graduates of and current Professors at the Herman Hospital based General Practice Residency Program for UTDS Houston. Their goal is to work with each patient to produce the best possible outcome based on that patient’s individual needs and desires.

From Check-ups to Implants to Braces, We want to be your home for Dentistry

Visit us at mccreadds.com to learn more about our office, our outstanding team & services we offer

601 South Second St. • Richmond, TX 77469 • 281-342-2121

14 • West Fort Bend Living

Greatwood Veterinary Hospital At Greatwood Veterinary Hospital, we are dedicated to providing excellent and compassionate care for your furry, family friends. We offer full veterinary services in our new, spacious 6,500 square foot facility. Our experienced and caring veterinarians and staff strive to provide the best quality care available for your pets, with an emphasis on client education and an understanding of your pet’s specific needs. We would like to be partners with you in ensuring your pet’s good health and well-being. In addition to full medical, surgical, and dental veterinary care, we also offer boarding, grooming, and cremation services. Greatwood Veterinary Hospital has been providing affordable and quality veterinary care to the Fort Bend area for over 15 years. It is our hope that we can meet all your animal’s health care needs with our warm, friendly, and knowledgeable services. To make an appointment for your pet or for more information, please call us at (281) 342-7770 or visit us at 401 Crabb River Road in Richmond.

Texas Master Naturalists complete major project at Seabourne Creek Nature Park


embers of the Coastal Prairie Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist program recently completed a project to construct roosting racks for the incredible native birds that live and move through the community. The racks were built on an island in the middle of the Wetland Pond at Seabourne Creek Nature Park in Rosenberg, an ideal place for several species of birds that have chosen the spot as their nesting site. The crew braved the early summer heat to ferry all the supplies across the pond via canoe. Chapter members Jerry Trenta, Don Parkhouse, Elaine Texas Master Naturalists completed a major project at Seabourne Creek Whitely, Phil Ward, Bob Naeger, Garrett Nature Park in Rosenberg. Engelhardt, Sal Cardenas, Kevin Engelhardt, John Cooper, and Janis Leavitt all pitched in to make this project happen. These new roosts are not only a benefit to the egrets, herons, spoonbills and countless other species of birds; they provide wonderful bird-watching and photography opportunities. Come out and visit Seabourne Creek Nature Park and explore the prairie restoration, native gardens, bird watching areas, and so much more. Texas Master Naturalists are a corps of volunteers dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and areas in Texas. The program is sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas A&M Agrilife extension. For more information about the Coastal Prairie Chapter, visit their website at coastalprairie.org.

ars Over 40 ye s in Busines

Texas Master Naturalists completion of major project.

Fort Bend County Master Naturalists, from left, Kevin Engelhardt, Jerry Trenta, Elaine Whiteley, Phil Ward, Don Parkhouse, Garrett Engelhardt, Bob Naeger and Sal Cardenas built a roosting rack at Seabourne Creek Nature Park.

Where Young Ideas Grow... Now Enrolling Pre-K at Gingerbread House Infants thru After School 8 weeks – 11 years old

Pre-Kindergarten 3, 4 & 5 years old

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Travis, Taylor Ray, Bowie, Culver, Meyers Elementary

Bentley and Hubenak afterschool programs


Owner– Ms “K” Kaminski Gingerbread House Learning Center– Kelly Novicke B.S., Susie Van Gossen, CDA

Gingerbread House Learning Center 281-232-9583

2417 4th Street, Rosenberg, TX 77471


Gingerbread Kids Academy

814 FM 2977, Richmond, TX 77469


www.gbkidsacademy.com Tim Kaminski, M.S. CCC/SLP, Megan Kaminski, M.E.D.

To advertise, call 281-342-4474

• 15

A Ente rt & rtainm e nt A

The Fort Bend Boys Choir embraces new season, encourages auditions

s the upcoming school year nears, the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas is reminding parents about openings in its organization where it offers first-class vocal training for boys starting at 6 years old. This is the 41st season for the Emmy-nominated boys choir which continues to recruit local singing talent and is currently focused on building its Music Magic class, intended for Photo by Terri Cannon Photography | Choirboys Joshua Nathan and Connor boys who are six or seven years old. Li encourage other young boys to join No audition is necessary for Music the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas. Magic, an eight-week music enrichment class that meets every Tuesday from 6:30-7:15 p.m., starting in October. The Fort Bend Boys Choir is also holding auditions by appointment for their upcoming 2022-2023 performance season starting in August. Auditions are open to Fort Bend County and the Greater Houston area. The organization said is “looking for [the] potential of accomplishment, not level of accomplishment,” stressing prior experience isn’t necessary. The performance choir vocal music education program is designed for boys with unchanged voices. And in addition to a love of music and singing, interested choir boys should be at least eight years old by this fall or entering third grade. This program meets once a week on Thursday evenings.

Noting the vaccination rates and masks no longer deemed a requirement, “there has never been a better time to audition,” the choir stated in a release. This organization continues to maintain certain safety protocols to ensure good health including: routine hand sanitizing, three feet of distance between each chorister, large and ventilated rehearsal rooms, and the option of wearing a mask based on comfort level. In its 2009 Chorus Impact Study, the Chorus America reported individuals who sing with a chorus develop qualities that can lead to a successful life. “For young choirboys in the Fort Bend Boys Choir, this translates into greater academic success, fostering a sense of community for boys as well as enhancing social skills and poise,” the organization stated in a release, noting that in the choir, teamwork skills are highly developed because there are no “benchwarmers, unlike sports.” “You cannot put in a substitute for a tired or sick choirboy as each chorister is an integral part of the group.” Additional benefits of choir participation for young boys include: increased self-confidence and self-discipline, better time management skills, a boost in memory skills, the building of new friendships, and good citizenship. Request an audition by visiting the choir’s audition webpage at www. fbbctx.org or calling 281-240-3800.


Free programs for youth and adults available in Richmond

he George Memorial Library at 1001 Golfview in Richmond, will offer a variety of free children’s programs, adult computer classes, book clubs, and special programs for people of all ages in August. CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS The library notes the fall schedule resumes the third week of August and activities will not take place during the first two weeks. Craft packets will be given out at the end of each program, so that children may take them home to enjoy. Family Story Time: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:15 a.m. in the



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16 • West Fort Bend Living

PO Box 1088 • Rosenberg, TX 77471

Meeting Room. Families with children of all ages will enjoy stories, songs, and action rhymes. The August schedule is as follows: Aug 17 and 18 – Bedtime; Aug. 24 and 25 – Transportation; and Aug.31 and Sept. 1 – Alphabet/Counting. YOUNG ADULT PROGRAMS Young Adult Book Club: Wednesday, Aug. 10, 4-5 p.m. in Room 2B. Teen readers in grades 9-12 will have an opportunity to meet with others who share the same love for good books and have a lively discussion on the reasons a book or its characters were liked or disliked. This month, readers will discuss Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, written by Adaobi Nwaubani. This title is available in print and digitally as an ebook on OverDrive; call the library to check the availability of additional print copies. Young Adult Advisory Council: Wednesday, Aug.17, 4-5 p.m. in Room 2B. Teens in grades 9-12 who are interested in an exciting new leadership opportunity and volunteer-service hours are invited to attend this meeting of the Young Adult Advisory Council. Members will have a chance to share ideas about library programs, help out at events, give suggestions for teen services, books, and movies, and meet new people. ADULT PROGRAMS Camping in Texas: Saturday, Aug.6, 2-3 p.m. in the Meeting Room. Hear about Texas state parks and learn how to use the online reservation system. Library staff will talk about camping equipment and share tips to make camping excursions more enjoyable. “Family-History Research: Genealogy 101” – Wednesday, Aug.10, 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab. In this introductory program, beginning family-history researchers will learn how to start their research. Library staff will provide a basic introduction to many of the resources that are available to the beginning genealogical researcher in FBCL’s Genealogy and Local History department. Items that will be introduced include print resources, materials that are available on microfilm, and basic online tools such as the Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest USA databases. Learn how to fill out basic genealogical forms, and receive a tour of the Genealogy and Local History Department. Registration required. “How to Use You Smartphone Camera to take Photos Like a Pro!” – Saturday, Aug. 13, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Meeting Room.

A retired educator and member of the Fort Bend Photography Club, Diane Whitmarsh will discuss unique aspects of smartphone photography and the camera features that iPhones and androids have in common. Learn about the different camera functions and how to use the various modes. Get tips on photo composition and other techniques that can turn everyday photos into something spectacular. Those attending the workshop are encouraged to bring their smartphones (and chargers) to practice the new techniques being taught. The program is intended for older teens and adults. Registration required. “Story Spinners Writing Club” – Thursday, Aug. 18, 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Room 2C. This month’s topic will be “Weaving Multiple Storylines.” From beginning bloggers to published novelists, 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 wordsmiths who wish to hone their craft. This program is recommended for adults and teens aged 14 and up. “Music of America with Second Street Brass” – Saturday, Aug. 20, 2-3 p.m. in Meeting Room. Members of the Second Street Brass ensemble will perform a selection of patriotic tunes representing past and present Americana. “Family-History Research: Deed Records” – Saturday, Aug.27, 10:3011:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab. A record of the transfer or sale of property between people, deed records can help fill in the gaps in one’s family history by indicating family relationships, giving specific information on where and when one’s ancestors lived in a location, and providing insight into their economic status. Because deeds dealt with property and money, they often go further back and contain more information than many other sources. A deed can lead to other sources of information and provide the names of friends as well as family members. Registration required. “PressBooks: How to Create a Print or eBook” -- Tuesday, Aug. 30, 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab. PressBooks allows authors to publish professional-quality ebooks and print-ready files. In this class, learn how to create a new book, set a theme template, add parts, chapters, and metadata, troubleshoot, and export it as an ebook. Registration required.

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• 17

Bu siness

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• 19


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