Coming to San Antonio Book Festival: Chris Barton (author) and Don Tate (illustrator) of “The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch”

In the back matter of The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, illustrator Don Tate charmingly confesses:

I’m ashamed to admit that before illustrating The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, I wasn’t very knowledgeable about Reconstruction.

Reconstruction is the era of United States history just after the Civil War, when former slaves made their way as free men and women, and the South tried to resist the changes imposed by the victorious North. I am thankful for Dr. Allan Kownslar‘s American history classes at Trinity University, which took an unflinching look at Reconstruction and examined the motives of Klansmen and Radical Republicans alike.

"The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch" by Chris Barton (author) and Don Tate (illustrator) | San Antonio Charter Moms

But now that I am a parent, I am facing a new challenge: How do I talk to my kids about that era of history? By focusing on the amazing story of John Roy Lynch—in ten years, transformed from teenage slave to U.S. Congressman—illustrator Tate and author Chris Barton have created a wonderful resource for families to have that conversation. Great news for San Antonio families: At the third annual San Antonio Book Festival on April 11, 2015, Tate and Barton will talk about their book from 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. in the Children’s Reading Tent. Continue reading

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San Antonio Symphony will accompany Bugs Bunny at the Majestic Theatre

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.

"Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II" with the San Antonio Symphony | San Antonio Charter Moms

In October, my husband and I went on a date night to the Majestic Theatre to hear the San Antonio Symphony play the score of Star Trek: Into Darkness while we got to watch the movie on a big screen; read more in this earlier post. Hearing the score performed live added richness and excitement to the movie experience.

The Symphony is getting ready for another film-and-music collaboration, “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II”, on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 at 8 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre. The Symphony has offered me two tickets to use myself and four tickets to give away to my readers. To enter the giveaway for four tickets to the Friday performance, leave a comment, no later than Wednesday, April 1, sharing something about Bugs Bunny or your favorite Looney Tunes character. I will randomly choose a winner and send notice by email.

"Long-Haired Hare" Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II | San Antonio Charter Moms

My sister and I used to watch Bugs Bunny cartoons together on Saturday mornings. This was before our family had cable TV, and long before YouTube and Netflix. Our parents also played classical music for us on LPs (45s) and cassettes, and on the radio, but the Looney Tunes versions of famous pieces of classical music are especially memorable. Here, Bugs Bunny takes on Rossini’s The Barber of Seville:

Every innovation in media makes our world a little more crowded and distracting. When I was little, adults worried that video games would cause children to stop reading. Will round-the-clock children’s television channels and on-demand video prevent the current generation of kids from experiencing now-classic Bugs Bunny cartoons? I tend to follow the advice of Dr. Aaron Delwiche, friend and Trinity University professor: don’t panic, and enjoy the ride.

The collision of Bugs Bunny and classical music is good stuff  and people will want to keep watching it, even if there are many other media choices available. Each generation will re-mix these elements in its own way. So, my sister and I watched Bugs Bunny on a cathode-ray tube pulling down a signal over bunny ears (you know, an antenna), and we had no control over when the show started or stopped. My kids are more likely to watch Bugs Bunny on a tablet as streaming video from an on-demand service.

No matter how you watch, there’s still the “Aha!” moment of seeing Bugs Bunny and his friends acting silly while accompanied by beautiful music. And, our kids have easy access to tools that will allow them to make their own mashups more easily. My kids and I recently went to an open house at VentureLab and tried out easy music and film editing techniques on tablets. VentureLab teaches these tools to kids at film and musicpreneur camps; read more at Alamo City Moms Blog.

I am looking forward to an evening of laughing along with Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes crew while enjoying the beautiful sound of the San Antonio Symphony, all in the elegant and historic Majestic Theatre. I hope you will enter the giveaway, but you can also buy tickets online or order by phone at 800-745-3000.

San Antonio Symphony at the Majestic Theatre | San Antonio Charter Moms

Looking ahead: the San Antonio Symphony will present Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams on Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23 at 8 p.m. at the Tobin Center.

To enter the giveaway for four tickets to the San Antonio Symphony’s live-to-picture presentation of Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II on Friday, April 3 at 8 p.m., please leave a comment, no later than Wednesday, April 1, sharing something about Bugs Bunny or your favorite Looney Tunes character. I will choose a winner at random and notify him or her by email. The tickets will be at will call; bring photo ID to the box office. Good luck!

Disclosure: The San Antonio Symphony gave me two tickets for my family to use at the performance, and four tickets to give away.

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The Hill Country Science Mill is worth the trip to Johnson City

The Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City is worth the drive | San Antonio Charter Moms

On Saturday, my kids and I drove to Johnson City for the grand opening of the Hill Country Science Mill, a new regional science center. We spent all day, and my kids were totally absorbed with playing and learning. We’ll definitely be back soon. I recommend that you plan a trip to the Science Mill soon, too. Continue reading

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Marisa B. Perez sworn in for her second term on the Texas State Board of Education

Marisa B. Perez sworn in for her second term on the Texas State Board of Education | San Antonio Charter Moms

On January 23, 2015, on the campus of IDEA Monterrey Park, County Judge Nelson Wolff administered the oath of office to Marisa B. Perez as she began her second term representing District 3 on the State Board of Education. Continue reading

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Notes from the Texas School Choice Week Rally in Austin on January 30, 2015

Notes from the Texas School Choice Week Rally in Austin, January 30, 2015 | San Antonio Charter Moms

On Friday, January 30, 2015, my family and I went to Austin and back for the Texas School Choice Week Rally (earlier post), part of National School Choice Week (January 25-31, 2015). It was fun and meaningful to be part of such a big group for a cause that we care a lot about. Here are some notes from the experience. Continue reading

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F.T. and G.N. review Marvel Universe Live at the Alamodome

Marvel Universe LIVE! at the Alamodome | San Antonio Charter Moms

That was double awesome.

My son, F.T., loved seeing Marvel Universe Live, and now my daughter, G.N., sees female superheroes in a new light. As an Alamo City Moms Blog contributor, I received a set of free tickets to Friday night’s performance at the Alamodome. I hope you and your family have time to see the show this weekend: it repeats Saturday, January 24 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m., and Sunday, January 25 at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Buy tickets online or walk up to the box office. Continue reading

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[Giveaway] Take a step closer to your dreams at the Alamo Star Ball

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.

When you watch ballroom dancing, what thoughts go through your mind? Maybe something like: “That looks beautiful, but I could never do that.”

Maybe it’s time to take a step closer to your dreams. The Alamo Star Ball, on Saturday, January 24, 2015, is a ballroom dance competition with a variety of events. The organizers of the Alamo Star Ball gave me a pair of daytime tickets and a pair of evening tickets to give away. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post no later than Wednesday, January 21. Please let me know if you have a preference between daytime or evening tickets. I’ll randomly choose the winners on Thursday, January 22 and send notice by email. Spectator tickets are also available for purchase.

Giveaway: Pairs of spectator tickets to Alamo Star Ball, January 25, 2015 | San Antonio Charter Moms

Learning to dance has been on my bucket list for a long time, but I had never made it a priority. More recently, it occurred to me that dancing is something that my kids and I could learn together. At Great Hearts high schools in Arizona, the school dances feature live music, and all the students learn ballroom dance; learn more in this earlier postThis inspired visions in my head of F.T. and G.N. learning to ballroom dance. I hope that Great Hearts Monte Vista will adopt the ballroom dance tradition as the campus grows Continue reading

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