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Combined concert: Two local community bands performing together in Winchester

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It’s not often that you get to hear two local community bands performing together! The Clarke County Community Band and the American Legion Community Band will perform a combined concert in Armstrong Hall at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA, on Tuesday, March 12, at 7:30 pm. Admission is free!

This concert will be double enjoyment for all. Please plan to come out and support local artistry within our community! You can visit the American Legion Community Band’s website for more information.

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‘Burns’ Night’ celebrated with haggis, neeps and tatties by kilted crowd at Virginia Beer Museum

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More than a hundred people, many dressed in Scottish plaid, jammed into the Virginia Beer Museum on historic Chester Street in downtown Front Royal Saturday night to celebrate the birthday of a far away and late-lamented Scottish poet, Robert Burns, who lived and died in the 18th century.

Bagpipes skirled, poetry was read, tartan kilts were the dress of the evening, and a haggis – sheep’s entrails cooked in the animal’s stomach – was eaten (by some), along with neeps and tatties (mashed turnip and potatoes). All was washed down with “wee drams” of Scotch whiskey, accompanied by many a toast to the Bard of Scotland.

The perfect host and hostess, David Downes and his wife Redz, in tartan splendor. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini. (8925)

The event this year – owner David Downes launched the local Burns’ Night celebration in Front Royal three years ago – fell precisely on the poet’s birthday, January 25 (1759). A Scottish flag hanging outside the museum’s front entrance proclaimed the Burns night event.

From the official 6 p.m. start of the event, the crowd inside and out – a bonfire burned merrily in back of 16 Chester Street – was kept entertained by piper Sean Patrick while, between times, Eric Bartock, who claims no specific Scottish ancestry but provided the haggis, read the traditional Burns poem “Address to the Devil” to a more-or-less hushed audience, who were informed of Burns’ disdainful message to the Calvinists of his era. Bartok then presided over the presentation of the haggis by the sword-bearing Sloan Culver, and ceremoniously made the first cut.

Above, Beer Museum regular, Eric Bartock, reads “Address to the Devil” by Robert Burns near the formal opening of the celebration of Scottish ‘Bard’ Robert Burns’ 260th birthday; below, ‘Tickets, anyone?’ Special guest hostesses – Robert Burns was a known admirer of Scotland’s fairer sex – pull double duty in 50/50 raffle ticket sales.

Tribute was paid by Downes to several mini-dressed (tartans, of course!) young women who circulated in the crowd selling 50-50 raffle tickets and generally contributed an attractive side to the more sedate kilts of the menfolk.

Walter Mabe, the new chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, dropped by and said a few words.

Among Burns’ best known “hits” is “Auld Lang Syne” published in 1788 and traditionally sung on New Year’s. was rendered last Saturday night by scores of lusty voices, during and following one of the “wee dram” toasts.

Above, the traditional Scottish haggis is ceremonially bagpiped from an upstairs dining area into the Virginia Beer Museum’s Burns’ George Washington Room, converted for the evening to the Robert Burns Room. Bagpiper Sean Patrick and ceremonial sword bearer Sloan Culver led the procession; as below Bartock brings the delicacy in for those with an adventuresome culinary streak.

Meanwhile, at local inns, pubs, and restaurants throughout the United States and most of the English-speaking world, people saluted the memory of this erstwhile Scot who penned 550 poems and songs throughout his relatively short life. The much loved “Rabbie” Burns died on January 1, 1796 at the age of 37.

He will never be forgotten.

The actual ‘Bard’, Robert Burns, at left in an 18th century print; to right, an actor ‘double’ several centuries later.

(Malcolm Barr Sr. of Rockland, who reported on this event along with Roger Bianchini – the latter noting the flow of Scotland in his maternal blood line – recalls covering a much more sedate, “posh” he called it, Burns’ night in Tynemouth, England, close to the Scottish border, in 1949. Downes’ event was Barr’s first Burns’ night celebration since that date 70 years ago, and he said it “brought back many memories” of his days as a teenage “cub” reporter in the United Kingdom.)

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Seventh “Conversation of Hope” to be held on Tuesday, January 28

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The WHAT MATTERS community meeting space, “Open House: Meet in the Middle” (213 E. Main Street next to the Daily Grind) serves as a meeting place for community members seeking positivity in this time of controversy for our town and county. At 7pm on the 4th Tuesday of each month, community leaders and citizens gather to engage in one hour of positive reflections and hope. This week’s conversation will focus on continuing the conversations of hope to include the local HGTV Hometown Takeover application efforts (info at: www.hgtvhometowntakeover.com and on our Facebook page, Front Royal Home Town Takeover).

During the first “Conversation of Hope” held at “Open House” in June, Chief Kahle Magalis shared a fitting quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Comments shared throughout our times reflecting have included positive feedback about the school system, about the giving & caring individuals in our community, encouragement to focus on the positive and move forward without delay (by sharing concern but finding solutions and moving on), the acknowledgement that we have a strong sense of community that’s full of characters and memories and that we have so much potential and good energy. It has been expressed that this is a good time to be forced to confront what we love and value and to picture the past and what’s good about the area.

“This too shall pass” is often uttered as well as the fact that our community has so much to offer as a busy, active and unique area (full of outdoor assets and beauty) where people care about each other and don’t let tragedy define us. Niki Foster of the FR/WC Chamber of Commerce encouraged everyone to share the wonderful things we see and be louder than the ugly noise. Representatives of area clergy have been in attendance and said they want to support and serve, especially in these times we are facing.

Please join us on the 4th Tuesday at 7pm at 213 E. Main Street – OPEN HOUSE, to share and witness more encouraging conversations. You are guaranteed to enjoy the hour spent with a wide range of citizens, public officials, volunteers and kind souls!

*Please note that these gatherings are ones of positivity, not negativity. Politics and current events will not be discussed—instead we will remind ourselves why we love our community and provide an opportunity to briefly join together those who care together in the spirit of hope…

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LFCC offering Entrepreneurship Workshop February 21

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Are you interested in starting your own business? Maybe you’re taking over the family business. While these propositions can be exciting, they can also seem overwhelmingly daunting. That’s why LFCC is offering an Entrepreneurship Workshop to help get you off on the right foot Friday, February 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Luray-Page County Center, 334 N. Hawksbill St., Luray.

The workshop is being led by LFCC Professor of Business Administration and Management Virginia Rae. Dr. Rae’s background includes co-owning a multimillion business in Northern Virginia, serving as vice president of business services for BB&T, and a position as senior level and executive management career transition consultant for the Miles LeHane Cos.

The workshop will cover the characteristics needed to be a successful entrepreneur, the importance of having a business plan, developing a mission and vision, and managing cash effectively. There will be time for lunch and networking, followed by presentations from area bankers and entrepreneurs.

The workshop is $10, which covers the cost of lunch. To register, go to lfcc.edu/event/entrepreneurship-workshop, or call 540-743-1260.

In the event of closure due to snow, the event will be postponed to February 28.

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24 R-MA students accept Rodney Smith’s 50 Yard Challenge

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On Tuesday, January 21st, Rodney Smith, Jr., of Raising Men Lawn Care Service, arrived at Randolph-Macon Academy after traveling up the East Coast from Huntsville, AL.

Rodney Smith speaking during his presentation. Photos courtesy of R-MA

Mr. Smith was invited and hosted by R-MA parent Cheryl Williams, who had been inspired by his story. “After doing some research, I too was inspired by his commitment to give back to others,” said R-MA Middle School Principal Tony Ballard, who introduced Mr. Smith to the students. “Community service and giving back are a big part of what we value here at R-MA, so I hope that hearing his story will motivate you to do more in your community here in Front Royal, or in the community that you call home.”

Mr. Smith gave a brief bio of his life to start. He was originally from Bermuda, and later attended a boarding school in upstate New York. He started at ITT Tech, but disliked being in Florida by himself. He returned home and considered becoming a police officer. Finally, his father told him to go to Huntsville, AL, to be with family. He was there for 10 years, completing his associate’s degree and working on his bachelor’s degree.

“In my senior year, I came across this elderly man outside mowing his lawn. It looked like he was struggling, so I pulled over to help him,” he said. “At that moment, I decided I would start mowing lawns for free for the elderly, disabled, single parents and veterans in Huntsville, AL. That one small act of kindness would change my life forever.”

On July 25, 2015, Mr. Smith posted what he had done and what he wanted to do onto his Facebook account and offered up his services. He had a goal of mowing 40 lawns by the end of winter; a month and a half later, he had already hit his goal. He upped his goal to 100, which he hit two months later.

People were quick to get involved. When he went to purchase a lawn mower for $100, he shared his story, and the man gave him the lawn mower for free.

As he reached his second goal, Mr. Smith came up with the idea for Raising Men Lawn Care Service. He would still mow lawns himself, but now he wanted to inspire kids ages 7-17 to mow lawns and give back to their communities. The organization was officially founded in January 2016.

As his story spread, Mr. Smith was contacted by teenagers who wanted to participate, and the idea for the 50 Yard Challenge was born. “The 50 Yard Challenge is a challenge that we have issued to kids nationwide and even worldwide to mow 50 yards [for] free in their community for the elderly, disabled, single parents and veterans.”

24 R-MA students who accepted the 50 Yard Challenge.

When children sign up, they receive a white “Raising Men” or “Raising Women” shirt, shades, and ear protection. For every ten yards they mow, rake, or even snow shovel, they receive another T-shirt, each a different color. Getting children and teens to complete the 50 Yard Challenge is still rare enough that when a student completes it, Mr. Smith drives to them and presents them with their black T-shirt as well as a brand-new lawn mower, weedeater, and blower. More than 600 kids have completed the 50 Yard Challenge.

Mr. Smith has completed five tours of all 50 states and hopes to take an international tour soon. His tours have each had a different focus: he took one with Spider Man, visiting hospitals to bring cheer to terminally ill children; for another he dressed as Santa and brought blankets and goods to those in need. His fifth tour honored veterans. His sixth was the “cop tour,” which encouraged police officers to mow lawns in their communities and build relationships; this tour prompted Toro to create mowers decked out in police car colors and lights. Mr. Smith has even dressed in pink, painted his mower pink, and mowed lawns to help raise funds in the fight against breast cancer.

At the end of his presentation, 24 Randolph-Macon Academy students stood up and accepted the 50 Yard Challenge, a number which brought a big smile to Mr. Smith’s face. To top it off, he got to meet a child from the local community who had already accepted his challenge and came to the presentation just to meet him.

It was indeed an inspiring afternoon for all-even for the presenter.

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Samuels Public Library Adult Programming events for February

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General Education Development

Samuels Public Library invites you to register and attend the General Education Development course. This course will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 A.M-12:30 P.M (except on school holidays or closings). The GED course is completely free. Let this course be the stepping stone to your success.

English as a Second Language Discussion Group

Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and join us for our English as a Second language discussion group starting. This is a conversational English language class for adults whose primary language is not English. All skill levels are welcome. Practice speaking English in a welcoming, group atmosphere. This group meets every Tuesday & Thursday at 10:00 am.

Genealogy Nuts: Shake Your Family Tree

Samuels Public Library invites you to a workshop for beginning to advanced genealogists. Discover your family roots with a team of genealogists who together have researched more than 50,000 names. Classes are held 1st & 3rd Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm. (February 5th and February 19th).

Crochet Group

Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and learn how to crochet or share your talents. The group will meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 10:00 A.M (February 12th & February 26th). All ability levels welcome.

The Miracle Morning Book Discussion Group

Samuels Public Library invites you to The Miracle Morning Book Discussion Group where we will be focusing on help with life transformation. The group will read and discuss a new chapter each week on Mondays at 6:30 P.M.  This group will not be meeting on Monday, February 17th due to the observance of Presidents Day.

What the Tech!

Having trouble with your electronics? Don’t worry! Come into What the Tech and we can help you! Phones, tablets, e-readersProctoring, and anything else you need help with! Just check at the Adult Reference Desk for available times every Tuesday.

Exploring Computers

The Library invites you to attend our intermediate computer class and improve your skills. Each month explore a new computer program or application in a safe, friendly environment with other intermediate users. Classes are held on Thursdays at 1:00 P.M.

Growing Orchids

Master Gardener James Jones will tell you everything you need to know to grow beautiful orchids. The workshop will be on Wednesday, February 12th at 6:00 P.M.

Vibes in the Libes: Kurt Schlesinger

Join us for a free lunchtime performance by Kurt Schlesinger. Bring your lunch, tell a friend and enjoy! Friday, February 14th at 12:30 P.M.

For the Love of Birds: Observing, Identifying, and Photographing Winter Birds

Samuels Public Library invites you to a workshop where you will be introduced to the different types of birds that spend the winter in the Shenandoah Valley. The workshop will be on Saturday, February 15th at 10:30 A.M.

For the Love of Birds: Natural Bird Feeder Craft

Samuels Public Library invites you to a workshop where you can make a natural bird feeder to attract feathered friends to your backyard. The workshop will be on Saturday, February 15th at 2:00 P.M.

Cuba and the United States: A Troubled History

Join us for a special program on the relationship between Cuba and the United States from both a historical and policy standpoint with our speaker Charles Lickson. The event will be on Thursday, February 27 at 6:00 P.M.

Library Closings

The Library will be closed Monday, February 17th in observance of Presidents Day. The library will resume normal hours of operation on Tuesday, February 18th.

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Children’s activities at Samuels Public Library for the month of February

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These are the events taking place in the Youth Services Department of Samuels Public Library for the month of February 2020. Thank you for sharing this information. More information about Samuels Library and the programs and services available can be found at www.samuelslibrary.net or by calling (540) 635-3153.


Saturday, February 1

  • 10:00 Books and Barks.  Come to our extremely popular monthly program that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog.  For beginning readers and up.  Choose a time slot at registration, which begins January 1.
  • 2:00 World of Lego.  Children ages 5 and up are invited to explore all the amazing things you can do with Legos.  Registration begins January 1.

Tuesday, February 4

  • 11:00 Time for Baby.  What do books, scarves, puppets, music and babies have in common?  They are all part of Time for Baby.  Join us as we use all of our senses to explore the world around us.  Love will be the theme this month.  Meet with your baby up to two years of age.  Siblings welcome.
  • 4:30 Novel Ideas.  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more!  After reading a winter story, we will discuss what hibernation is, and what animals hibernate.  For ages 6-11.  Registration begins January 4.

Wednesday, February 5 and Thursday, February 6

  • 10:15 Toddler Story Time.
  • 11:00 Preschool Story Time.

What’s white, fluffy and cold, and fun to play in?  Snow!  We’ll have some great stories, songs, and a craft about this chilly weather form.  Siblings welcome.


Saturday, February 8

  • 11:00 Saturday Morning Movie:  The Lion King.  Join us as we watch The Lion King (2019 release) and enjoy some popcorn.  For ages 5 and up.  Registration begins January 8.

Tuesday, February 11

  • 4:30 Novel Ideas.  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more!  After reading a special winter story, we will enjoy activities in celebration of St. Valentine’s Day. For ages 6-11.  Registration begins January 11.

Wednesday, February 12 and Thursday, February 13

  • 10:15 Toddler Story Time.
  • 11:00 Preschool Story Time.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the theme of our stories, songs, and craft will be, “Be Mine.” Siblings welcome.


Thursday, February 13

  • 4:00 Llama Love!  18. Join us for llama stories, games, snacks, and a craft!  For ages 6-12.  Registration begins January 13.

Saturday, February 15

  • 2:00 Discuss This.  Are you inspired by good books, articles, movies, and art? Do you write, draw, or enjoy playing music? If so, join us as we discuss books and share our creations. This is a group for those who wish to talk seriously about a variety of topics.  Refreshments will be provided.  For ages 12 and up.  Registration begins January 15.

Tuesday, February 18

  • 4:30 Novel Ideas.  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more!  After reading a special winter story, we will investigate the amazing photography of Snowflake Bentley.  For ages 6-11.  Registration begins January 18.

Wednesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 20

  • 10:15 Toddler Story Time.
  • 11:00 Preschool Story Time.

Come in for some great stories, songs, and a craft about our feathered friends, Birds!  Siblings welcome.


Saturday, February 22

  • 11:00 Art Stars.  Art Stars is a special needs art discovery program.  This program is for ages 8 and up.  Registration begins January 22.  Participants should have a caregiver or attendant present in the program.
  • 2:00 Magic Show.  Local magician Kevin Owens will entertain the whole family with his amazing magic show, which always includes audience participation and lots of laughter!

Tuesday, February 25

  • 4:30 Novel Ideas.  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more!  After reading a special winter story, we will explore the fascinating subject of winter weather.  For ages 6-11.  Registration begins January 25.

Wednesday, February 26 and Thursday, February 27

  • 10:15 Toddler Story Time.
  • 11:00 Preschool Story Time.

Adventure is all around us!  Join us as Carol Cable, illustrator of Ellie’s Day of Adventure, shows us what having an adventure can look like.  Siblings welcome.


Saturday, February 29

  • 11:00 Kooky Chefs Cook It Up:  Soups.  Nothing is more comforting than warm soup on a chilly day!  Learn how to make some yummy soup, and do some taste-testing to choose your favorite.  For ages 8 and up.  Registration begins January 29.
  • 11:00 Trauma & Resiliency Training for Early Childhood Providers.
    Statistics show us that one in four children will experience trauma by the age of four. This trauma could be abuse, hunger, homelessness, witnessing violence, medical trauma, or grief.
    We know that a child’s greatest learning occurs during the early childhood years. These traumas cause behaviors that we see every day in the classroom. As early childhood providers, we need to recognize the signs of trauma, and teach children how to cope with the feelings they experience.

    • This training will discuss:
      Why trauma matters?
      How trauma affects the brain?
      How trauma affects behavior?
      Individual resilience
      Ways to help children cope
    • This training is free and open to early childhood providers, with priority given to those accepting state subsidy and serving the infant / toddler population. A two-hour training certificate will be given.
    • New requirement this year: We must have at least 10 people registered or the class will be cancelled.
      Register:  https://vachildcare.com/
      Questions:  donnaw@thechildcarenetwork.org
  • 2:00 Speed Dating with Books.  Do appearances, of people or books, influence you?  How much time does it take for you to decide that you are/are not interested?  What criteria determines interest?  Come spend time in a “speed dating” atmosphere, getting to know books you may not otherwise look at twice.  For ages 14 – 18.  Registration begins January 29.
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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Jan
29
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 29 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Jan
30
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 30 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Jan
31
Fri
10:00 am Citizenship Day Workshop @ Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington | Hogar Immigrant Services
Citizenship Day Workshop @ Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington | Hogar Immigrant Services
Jan 31 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Citizenship Day Workshop @ Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington | Hogar Immigrant Services
On Friday, January 31, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington is partnering with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to host its annual Citizenship Day Workshop. The workshop is one of six AILA is[...]
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Jan 31 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
Feb
1
Sat
10:00 am Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 1 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Come to our extremely popular monthly program that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog.  For beginning readers and up.  Choose a time slot at registration, which begins[...]
11:00 am HSWC Polar Plunge @ Northern Virginia 4-H Center
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Northern Virginia 4-H Center
Feb 1 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Northern Virginia 4-H Center
The Humane Society of Warren County will hold their 1st annual Polar Plunge event on February 1st at the Culpeper Lake, located at the Northern Virginia 4-H Center in Harmony Hollow. “Plungers” are asked to[...]
2:00 pm World of Lego @ Samuels Public Library
World of Lego @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 1 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
World of Lego @ Samuels Public Library
Children ages 5 and up are invited to explore all the amazing things you can do with Legos.  Registration begins January 1.
Feb
4
Tue
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 4 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 4 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, February 4 – Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! After[...]
Feb
5
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 5 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]