Art teacher preps for Earth Day

Heather Royer is throwing a large Earth Day celebration in Parkersburg.

And she is looking for children and adults to participate in the family event.

Royer, art teacher at VanDevender Middle School, has booked the Parkersburg Art Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 to celebrate Earth Day with booths featuring artists who make recycled art, an arts and crafts booth, a kids’ recycled art competition with prizes, speakers, businesses, organizations, and organic and “ethical” cuisine.

The theme of the free celebration is “Every Day Should Be Earth Day.”

The purpose is to help educate the community about local green resources, Royer said.

“We are combining efforts with the arts and our passion for the earth to promote a greener lifestyle,” she said.

John Reed, director of Wood County Solid Waste Authority, supports Royer’s recycling efforts.

The solid waste authority is providing prizes for the children’s art competition at the Earth Day event and brochures describing the celebration for distribution in local schools.

Reed said it is vital to get youth involved in recycling to reduce the waste stream entering landfills.

Royer, who received a master’s degree in art education from the University of Toledo and taught in Thailand for two years, has started an after-school art club at VanDevender. Students meet every other week to work on art projects.

The students are excited about the after-school art program. Royer is writing a grant application in hopes of securing funding to expand the art program to include parents and VanDevender alumni.

For more information on the Earth Day celebration contact Royer at heatheroyer@yahoo.com or call 304-916-8008.

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Parkersburg’s 30th year of participation in Safetytown was in doubt for a while, but financial commitments have come through to extend the summer program for another year, Director Mary Ann Osborne told me Thursday. Sponsors and new board members will be needed to continue Parkersburg Safetytown next year, Osborne said. Until a few days ago, the safety program for incoming first-graders was short on cash to continue. This year’s free event will be June 16-27 at Fairplains Elementary School, 615 Broadway Ave. Osborne has been Parkersburg Safetytown director for more than 25 years and a teacher in the program before that. Osborne has seen the number of Safetytown participants drop over the years to about 100 children last year. She is anticipating Easy Rider providing free bus transportation again this year for children who want to attend Safetytown.

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Outdoor recreation enthusiasts will want to attend next Saturday’s Second Saturday Social at the Parkersburg Farmers Market near Point Park. The Adventure Recreation Expo is designed for people to learn about the recreational opportunities in the area and sell or swap recreation gear. Fifteen vendors have signed up. Space is free for clubs, organizations and retail stores to set up booths with a 5 percent commission charged on items sold. Proceeds from commissions will help purchase bicycle racks in downtown Parkersburg. To reserve a space or schedule a clinic, contact Carrie Nesselrode at carrie@downtownpkb.com or Kim Coram at kimberlyjocoram@gmail.com. Unlike the previous Second Saturday Socials, which were held in the evening in downtown Parkersburg, the March 8 event will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 113 Ann St. The Winter Market will be held at the Parkersburg Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.

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The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg is hosting a “Symphony Brunch” beginning at 12:30 p.m. March 16 at the Parkersburg Country Club. A buffet begins at 1 p.m. with the Trillium Piano Trio providing music. Because of grant funding cutbacks, this first-time fundraiser will help the symphony bring concerts to Wood County, including Sunday’s “Beethoven Violin Concert” at Blennerhassett School Auditorium, during the season. Contact Sally Harris at 304-679-3811 for brunch reservations.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com