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The gift of reading

The gift of reading

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Mothers Group of Tulsa bringing Santa, Mrs. Claus to Greenwood Center

The Mothers Group of Tulsa makes a big difference in children's lives -- especially during the holidays.

The Mothers Group is making plans for a black Santa and Mrs. Claus to visit the Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N. Greenwood Ave., from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 18.

Michael Pierce, Tulsa Public School Board member, and his wife, Cynthia, will portray the jolly couple.

Santa and his wife will focus on reading that day, and Santa's bag of gifts will be filled with brightly wrapped books that he will give to the first 400 children to arrive.

Entertainment by school and church choirs, local dancers and other Tulsa-area performers will add to the festivities.

"Research shows that reading is one of the most inexpensive and readily available forms of entertainment," said Carolyn Marzett, 2004 chairwoman of the Santa Community Initiative. "Also, according to a study by the National Commission on Reading, reading aloud to children is the single most important intervention for developing their literacy skills."

Brenda Lloyd-Jones, a community volunteer and professor at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, founded the Mothers Group in 1988 to make a difference in the lives of children. Members work to promote reading, family unity and to give children pride in themselves through positive activities that focus on intellectual, social and cultural development.

"Early reading experiences are now recognized as being of such importance that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians prescribe reading activities in addition to other instructions given to parents at the time of well-child visits," said Lloyd-Jones.

Since it was established, thousands of people have attended the Santa event. The Clauses' visit will give youngsters a chance to whisper their wishes in Santa's ear, to take photographs and to receive the best gift of all -- a book.

Children and their families are invited at no charge. Donations are welcomed. For more information, call 496-9677.

Members of The Mothers Group are Kimberly Blake, Michelle Claybon, Yvonne Hovell, Darlene Jacobs, Ruth Lloyd, Brenda Lloyd-Jones, Carolyn Marzett, Audrey McGill, Colleen Payne-Nabors, Cynthia Pierce, Dana Richardson, Karen Rogers, Charlotte Shillingford, Regina Tyler and Leslie Wade.

Tulsa Opera 'Holiday Spectacular' is this Saturday

Tulsa Opera's wonderful, lively, luminous and lustrous music with merry, joyous, mirthful and happy sounds is back.

"Holiday Spectacular," featuring the sounds of the season, is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center. The second annual "Holiday Spectacular" will bring together some of Tulsa's favorite artists, as well as the 75-piece Tulsa Opera Orchestra and many Tulsa-area choral groups to celebrate the holidays.

Solo performers featured include pianist Don Ryan, jazz and blues chanteuse Rebecca Ungerman, opera singer Lindsey McKee, jazz artist Tavis Minner, the bell choir Tulsa Festival Ringers, the gospel group Levi's Voice and the local Bravo Brass ensemble.

Choral groups include the Tulsa Opera Chorus, Tulsa Youth Opera, Tulsa Children's Chorus, Tulsa Youth Chorale, Tulsa Boy Singers, Nathan Hale High School Chorus, Bixby High School Chorus and Owasso High School Chorus.

Music will celebrate Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa traditions. From well-known carols and spirituals to full orchestra showpieces to spoofs on popular secular Christmas songs and an audience sing-along finale, this concert will be a delight for kids from 1 to 92.

Of the 2003 concert, reviewer James D. Watts Jr. of the Tulsa World wrote that it was "a spectacular array of Tulsa-based talent, of a spirit of cooperation and of the hope that this concert will not be the last of its kind in this city."

Bring your family and friends. Tickets start at just $18 and family packages are available.

Call the Tulsa Opera ticket office at 587-4811 or or contact the Tulsa Performing Arts Center at 596-7111 or

Danna Sue Walker 581-8342

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