Avery and Spencer Park write second book and explain how a city works.
By Sabrina Pinkney
“I want to be a Harvard businesswoman,” says Avery Park, age 10, as she discusses her new book, “How Your City Works!! Behind The Scenes in Arlington, VA.”
Co-authored with her brother, Spencer Park, age seven, the book explores the facilities and jobs that keep a city running. In 2015, Avery and Spencer published their first tome, “Arlington Playground Guide!!” and because of the connections they made with city officials for that project, they were given access to places that would be off-limits to most.
Avery and Spencer are both quite ambitious for their age, and their greatest ambition for now is to share their sense of community and fun-loving attitudes in explaining every detail in a way kids understand best.
For “Arlington Playground Guide!!,” Avery and Spencer visited all 70 public playgrounds in Arlington to let readers know the best parks in the area, and for “How Your City Works!!” they continue to share their discoveries.
“Some people might not know how everything works, and they might not get to go to all the places we get to go,” said Spencer.
“Not all the kids our age will find a way or have the time to go to all those places, so we though it would be fun for them to read our book,” Avery chimed in.
“My favorite place was the animal shelter,” she continued. “Apparently dogs really like canned pumpkins.”
“They just renovated the cats section… (and) don’t put them to sleep unless the animal is too aggressive,” she adds. “If they can’t find a place for them, then they just send them to a different shelter. They take care of a thousand animals every year and there are over three million that are homeless and are in animal shelters in America.”
In addition to visiting the shelter, Avery and Spencer explored the fire training center, hospital, police station and more.
Flipping through the pages of her book, she described each adventure.
“We met two different K9 officers that were working, and this is Hugo,” she said, pointing to picture. “We also met buster. They’re both German shepherds.”
“(Police officers) showed us around and this is the investigating room,” she demonstrated again, “where they interview you. And in the dispatcher room we couldn’t get pictures of things.”
“When people make emergency phone calls, they (dispatchers) take them and they’ll get all your information and where you are and stuff, and they’ll determine if you need an ambulance or a police.”
“They also have computers that are connected to the street cams,” Spencer added.
Between homework, piano practice, trips to the station and writing, Avery and Spencer must be the busiest kids in the DMV. And though they do not spend their free time watching TV or playing video games like many other kids (or anyone else for that matter), they do not feel like they’re missing out on anything. The only downside, according to Avery?
“It steals time from my homework,” she explained. “I can’t do extra credit all the time.”
“Arlington Playground Guide!!” or “How Your City Works!! Behind The Scenes in Arlington, VA” are both available on Amazon.