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View a Reading Wonderland at the Art Museum of South Texas

The eighth annual Junior League Christmas Tree Forest presents ‘Winter Wonderland’ with trees decorated to showcase popular children’s books. Photo courtesy of the Junior League

The Art Museum of South Texas becomes a Reading Wonderland during the holiday seaso when the annual Christmas Tree Forest sprouts among the art work. The annual event is presented by the Junior League of Corpus Christi and H-E-B.

Area school students worked together on 30 trees, designing and decorating them to represent their favorite books. Past trees have reflected art and characters from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Pete the Cat,” “Curious George,” “Clifford” and more.

The Junior League of Corpus Christi is an organization of women that promotes volunteerism and improves the community through leadership. Its sole purpose is charitable and educational programs. The “Literacy and Learning” committee organizes the Christmas Tree Forest each year.

“We volunteer our time with the art museum and schools,” said Kandus Dakus, co-chair of the Literacy and Learning committee and an elementary teacher. “I love kids. I love reading and teaching kids to read. It’s exciting.”

The Junior League also chooses six schools in target areas to increase literacy development and takes the first-graders on field trips to view the trees at the museum.

“My favorite part of it all is seeing the beautiful trees and how excited the kids are to look at them and seeing them make the connection between reading and learning and back to the tree,” Dakus said. “Their eyes light up with happiness — that’s the most rewarding thing to the volunteers.”

The trees anchor the museum's free Family Fun Day, which is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9.

Activities include:

  • visits with Santa Claus;
  • art projects;
  • live entertainment performed by dance teams from local schools;
  • free books and goody bags provided by H-E-B.

Visitors are asked to vote for their favorite trees throughout the length of the exhibit, which runs Nov. 19-Dec. 13. After the exhibit, the trees will be given to the Garcia Center, and from there, they will be donated to families in need of a Christmas tree.

The Art Museum of South Texas is located at 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd. in Corpus Christi. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed on Monday. Admission on regular days is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and military, $4 for students, and free for kids under 12, TAMU-CC students and museum members.

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