By Erin Steele
Killeen Daily Herald
How many of you like dinosaurs? yelled Dinosaur George as he wheeled boxes full of figurines and fossils into the West Ward Elementary School cafeteria Monday afternoon.
The answer came in the form of more than 50 tiny upraised hands and titters of excitement, all belonging to the group of first- and second-graders who were ushered in for the days special program. Students sat cross-legged on the floor, whispering to each other and craning their necks to watch as Dinosaur George unloaded his boxes.
Sorry were running a little late, he said, after the crowd had quieted. We had a dinosaur get loose, and it ate a kid.
Dinosaur George made quite a trek Monday, traveling from Fowler Elementary to Clear Creek and Iduma before finally making his way to West Ward by 1 p.m. A dinosaur enthusiast who has spent the last eight years presenting his program to schools around the country, Georges Killeen appearance was to promote Dinosaur World, an exhibit that will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.
Dinosaur George made a splash at West Ward, providing an edutainment extravaganza that had the students in stitches. Some squealed with delight as he pulled dusty dinosaur bones from his boxes, while others let out a loud chorus of eeeews.
The host peppered his presentation with jokes telling the kids, Dont call me George of the Jungle. Dont call me Curious George. And definitely dont call me Georgie Porgie but his remarks were barely audible over the sea of enthusiastic giggles.
George taught about many forms of prehistoric life, from dinosaurs such as the tyrannosaurus rex and stegosaurus to the insects and animals that were present during the time period.
He advised the students to tell their parents about the exhibit, which costs $2 for adults and is free to children 12 and under. The exhibit will last from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and will include childrens activities and a gift shop.
It was funny, said second-grader Immani Ortiz after the program concluded at 2 p.m. I liked it when he pulled out real dinosaur bones.
Some of the children considered themselves dinosaur experts in their own right and were amazed to see the fossils that Dinosaur George trotted out.
Ive already liked dinosaurs for three no, three-and-a-half years, said second-grader Devyn Dyals. It was cool that he had all those different bones.
Dinosaur George whose real name is George Blasing said seeing the students reactions is the best part of his job. During the exhibit, his lectures are scheduled every two hours and are filled with information and interaction.
I love coming out in advance to get the kids excited about the exhibit, he said. Thats the biggest motivator.
For more information on the Dinosaur World exhibit, call KCCC at 501-3888 or visit www.dinosaurworld.com.
Contact Erin Steele at email@example.com