Friday, July 1, 2022

Terrible Teens? Dana Kirkland Sees It Differently

When talent meets passion, magical things can happen in the workplace…even when there are unique and sometimes great challenges. Managing programs involving teenagers trying to find their place in the world might be intimidating for most, but for Southlake’s Teen Court Coordinator Dana Kirkland, it’s what she was “meant to do.”

Dana’s love and respect for young people, coupled with meaningful work experience and a quest to get it right, is extraordinary. And the Teen Court program works beautifully as a result.

Dana was a teacher in New Mexico for 26 years before retiring. She taught 4th and 5th grade in general subjects and 6th and 7th grade in Math. In 2016, Dana relocated to the DFW area. She happened to see the job posting for Teen Court Coordinator and immediately pursued and got the job.

She has brought her classroom management, public speaking, and conflict mediation skills to her daily work. Dana is creative and determined and gets the job done, even when circumstances have required her to regroup.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dana went above and beyond to find ways for teens to participate and fulfill their obligations while still learning from their experience. Where a lot of teen courts failed during that time and are no longer functioning, she was able to manage the program and make it successful,” said Kristin McGrail, Municipal Court Manager.

Writing essays was one option for teens to complete service hours. The topics were varied and always thought-provoking, all with the intention of getting the teens to reflect on their choices. Dana has read hundreds of papers in the past two years and has provided valuable feedback to the teens regarding their papers.

Dana does everything she can to make the teen court experience meaningful and enjoyable for everyone involved. Whether cultivating new community service work sites, coordinating training for teen attorneys, or organizing a professional conference, Dana uses her considerable skills to support adolescents as they prepare for adulthood.

For bringing a lifelong passion for education to the job and quietly working each day to make a difference with local teens, Dana Kirkland has been identified as one of the City of Southlake’s Unsung Heroes.

Troop 168 Carries on Tradition of Placing American Flags at Town Square

With dew on the ground, the sun peeking through the horizon, shadows begin to scatter around the front of Town Square, as members and leaders of Boy Scout Troop 168 begin placing American flags around the perimeter of the front lawn one by one, paying homage to the United States of America.

This scene has occurred since 2010 as the Troop sets out and takes down the American flags at Town Square on seven holidays each year.

Scoutmaster Simon McLean said Troop 168 takes pride in honoring America and these special holidays with the placement of the flags.

“We’re proud to do so,” Scoutmaster McLean said. “And participating scouts receive service hours when they fulfill this responsibility.”

The Troop places the flags in Town Square each President’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Patriot’s Day, Veteran’s Day and Pearl Harbor Day. So, if you ever wondered who ensured a symbol of our City’s pride in the USA was displayed on these holidays, you now know it was an act of service from the Southlake Boy Scout Troop 168.

Sign Up for the Youth Citizens Academy!

Just because school is out doesn’t mean the learning stops!

The City of Southlake launched the Youth Citizens Academy to teach 9 – 11-year-olds how the City of Southlake works for the benefit of those who live, work and play in Southlake. Youth citizens complete weekly objectives for five weeks to get an inside look at the City and earn a certificate, challenge coin and recognition as a Southlake Youth Citizen!

The virtual Academy starts June 28!

Videos and activities will be sent by email each week. Youth Citizens have one week to complete the objectives and submit documentation of completion by email. Ten objectives must be completed to graduate from the academy. Bonus objectives will be launched during the academy just in case you miss one. Many of the objectives will require help from an adult to go to Southlake landmarks, make an emergency plan for the family, plan a city, budget, or write an essay. All of the activities can be completed as a family!

The deadline to enroll is Friday, June 25.

Enroll your 3rd or 4th grader in the City of Southlake Youth Citizens Academy. For more information, email

Plan Ahead for a Perfect Day of PLAY at the Park!

We love our Southlake parks for providing us with beautiful open spaces to get outside and get in tune with nature, but did you know that there are multiple benefits of playing outside for kids?

Indeed, playing outside leads to improved overall health, greater self-awareness, appreciation for the environment, and enhanced relationships with other children.

Outdoor play demands higher levels of creativity and imagination. As a result, children learn communication skills and learn how to build relationships with other kids. Moreover, no one can deny that being outside and catching some Vitamin D can turn any day from good to great!

If you’re ready to get in on the benefits of playing outside, mark your calendars because PLAY at the Park is coming up on February 27! Drop-off your child at Bicentennial Park for a day of exciting Pokémon-themed games and activities. Lunch will be provided and a fun time of catching them all is guaranteed!

PLAY at the Park will be offered on the fourth Saturday of the month during Spring, and structured activities will take place at various Southlake parks!

Check out our incredible schedule and terrific themes:

  • February 27 Bicentennial Park: Pokémon Day
  • March 27 Liberty Park: Superhero Day
  • April 24 Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve: Earth Day
  • May 22 Bicentennial Park: Star Wars Day

Don’t miss out on the chance for your child to explore the great outdoors and reap the benefits that our parks have to offer. Click here to register!

Cross Timbers Forest Preschool Open House

Did you know Southlake has a nature preschool at Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve? Come learn all about it on January 10!

If your little one loves playing outside and learning about nature, then Cross Timbers Forest Preschool is the perfect place for them!  From discovering new plants and animals, to going on nature hikes and learning all about the Cross Timbers ecosystem, your student will spend over 80% of their day outside. Our curriculum is designed to encourage hands-on exploration of our local ecosystem through hikes, storytime, arts and crafts, imaginative play and discovery. Forest Preschool allows students to build their knowledge of the world around them and develop confidence and self-esteem while inspiring connections with nature.

We would love the opportunity to meet you and your student at our Cross Timbers Forest Preschool Open House at Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. The Open House is a chance to meet our teachers, view the curriculum, and explore with us on one of our favorite trails. Please RSVP for the Open House here.

Date: January 10
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve, 355 E Bob Jones Rd.
RSVP here.




Youth Athletics Now Enrolling for Winter/Spring 2020

Southlake Recreation is proud to offer a vast selection of engaging athletic programs for kids. Registration is now open for the Winter/Spring season. Here’s what’s coming up in early 2020.

Basketball Skills Academy | Ages 6-17
This class is designed to introduce athletes to basketball fundamentals. The goal is to excite young players about the game of basketball!

Session 1: January 6-27
Session 2: February 3-24
Session 3: March 2-30
Session 4: April 6-27
Session 5: May 4-May 18

>>Details and registration.

Volleyball Skills Academy | Ages 8-15
Bowman volleyball is a skill-based class that excites players about volleyball. Players are taught confidence and fundamental skills including serving, passing, setting, and hitting. The program uses games and drills to develop a love of the game while improving technique. Players need athletic shoes and a water bottle.

Session 1: January 7-28
Session 2: February 4-25
Session 3: March 3-31
Session 4: April 7-28
Session 5: May 5-26

>>Details and registration.

Little Dragon Jiu-Jitsu | Ages 5-18
The goal of this program is to teach children: respect, honor, commitment, self-control, physical fitness, coordination, compassion, positive attitude, and most importantly self-confidence. We are a life skills school that emphasizes on key values that will help students enhance their mental toughness to stand for what they believe in and the above goals. Through these values, we create a positive attitude of “Yes I Can!”

Session 1 : January 6 – February 17
Session 2: March 2 – April 15
Session 3: April 20 – June 1

>>Details and registration.

Skyhawks Multi-Sport Clinic | Ages 3-6
Our Multi-Sport clinics are designated to introduce young athletes to a variety of different sports in one setting. For this program we combine 2-3 sports into one fun-filled class. Athletes will learn the rules and essentials of each sport through skill-based games and scrimmages. By the end of the class, your child will walk away with knowledge of (2 or 3) new sports along with vital life lessons such as respect, teamwork, and self-discipline.

Session 1: January 8 – February 26
Session 2: March 25 – May 13

>>Details and registration.

SuperTots Soccer | Ages 3-6
This age division of SoccerTots concentrates on building core soccer skills and personal focus while introducing an element of light competition. The class uses creative games and kid-friendly drills to make the fundamentals of soccer fun and accessible for young children. Instructor-to-student ratio is kept small to maximize individual development and encourage players to get to know their teammates.

Session 1: January 10 – February 28
Session 2: March 27 – May 15

>>Details and registration.

TGA Premier Junior Golf Camp | Ages 6-17
Tee it up at golf class and discover how fun and exciting golf can be with TGA! Maximum student to coach ratio of 10:1 maintains a safe and fun environment. Coaches lead students through station-based drills and games that develop the fundamental skills of grip, putting, chipping and full-swing. Students participate in STEAM labs that allow them to explore academic concepts like gravity, force, and spin through the game. Golf is an individualistic sport so each player progresses through our five level program at their own pace.

February 4 – March 31

>>Details and registration.


For a full list of athletic programming, visit
Need help? Go here.

Traveling for the Holidays? Check out an Audiobook!

Hitting the road for annual holiday travel can have its challenges, packing, unpacking and the long drive can become a bit strenuous. With a demanding to-do list and hours of travel at stake, good entertainment is key.

Audiobooks are a great source of entertainment while traveling. Listening to an audiobook can help you pass the time while driving or escape on an imaginary journey while riding in the passenger seat. Either way, these road companions make the long commute more pleasurable.

The Southlake Library offers a wide selection of audiobooks that you and your family can listen to while on the road. You can find audiobooks on CD, loaded on MP3 players or you can download them yourself to your phone or tablet through the Cloud Library.

Choose from more than 18,000 audiobook titles available through the Southlake Library, from thousands of backlist titles to the latest and greatest bestsellers. There is something for the entire family to enjoy. You can listen to an audiobook alone or make it a group activity.

The Library makes audiobooks easily accessible. So why not toss out that playlist and get your listening fix in with a great audiobook. To review a list of audiobooks, please visit the Library’s website.


City of Southlake Now Accepting Nominations for the 2017 Youth of the Year Award

Annually, the City of Southlake sponsors the Youth of the Year Award presented at the Southlake Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet. This award recognizes outstanding teens who have made a difference in our community. The city traditionally receives exceptional nominations for young residents of Southlake demonstrating their commitment to our community. If you know a teen (ages 12-18) who deserves recognition for their outstanding role in the community, please nominate them by Friday, May 12 for this prestigious honor. Nomination forms can be found here.

Last year’s Youth of the Year Award recipient was an extraordinary young lady Kendall Costello. Ms. Costello was a member of the Carroll Medical Academy, Varsity Cheerleader and elected as a Green Jacket. She led an initiative for a new bicycling and helmet safety campaign in Southlake in addition to volunteering with numerous local groups. Kendall is now a freshman at Stanford University.

Kendall has inspired the community with her hard work, determination and dedication to a cause – we are looking forward to hearing how other youth residents of Southlake have made an impact on the community this year. If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact the city at 817-748-8186 or


8 Reasons to Hop Over to Easter in the Park

Easter in the Park is quickly approaching on Saturday, April 8 at North Park, located at 200 East Dove Road. With only a week left we want to share why Easter in the Park is such a fun event! You can learn more about Easter in the Park here.


8. Great photo opportunities for the family!



7. Show off your awesome craft making skills!



6. Our volunteers take pride in what they do!



5. Inflatables…. Need we say more?



4. Visit Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny!


3. A petting zoo joins the event bringing chicks, bunnies and more!



2. There are thousands of eggs for each age division’s Egg Scramble



1. What’d you say…..? IT’S FREE!!!