Rockin’ Rushmore at the Journey Museum


RAPID CITY, SD – On Sunday, April 24 at 2 pm, award-winning children’s writer Jean Patrick presents the Learning Forum Series event titled “Rockin’ Rushmore” as a run-up for Mount Rushmore’s 75th Anniversary of completion this summer.

In this visual and interactive presentation designed especially for parents, grandparents and children as well as teachers, Jean describes how and why Mount Rushmore was carved. “I also emphasize the power of dynamite, teamwork, and democracy,” she says.

How did a Mitchell, SD, children’s writer come to write best-selling books on Mount Rushmore? “They recruited me to do the text for an illustrated book for kids called Who Carved the Mountain, a book that could be read to a child in 10 minutes,” Jean says. “How hard could that be, I thought. Little did I know what a rich story Mount Rushmore was.”

Those stories led to Jean’s book for older children called Face to Face with Mount Rushmore. Using actual questions from young people, this interactive book includes photographs, letters, quizzes, and trivia to help readers explore one of the world’s most famous memorials.

Jean will show lots of pictures and primary source materials. Mount Rushmore Memories, edited with Debbie Ketel, was developed from one hundred memories from visitors, employees, local residents, National Park Service employees, politicians, a former Rushmore carver, and the grandchildren of Doane Robinson, Charles Buell and Gutzon Borglum.

“One big hit with kids is actual Rushmore tools I have on loan that people can touch. I have a tiny drill bit that was used on Washington’s face. Kids get it when they hold something that touched George Washington’s nose on Mount Rushmore. My goal is to help them literally see that they can touch the piece of history, actually connecting themselves with the mountain.”

Jean’s most recent book, Four Famous Faces illustrated by Renee Graef, leads readers through the famous parks, memorials, and monuments of the Badlands and Black Hills region, including Mount Rushmore.

“I thought Mount Rushmore going to be about one thing,” says Jean Patrick. I don’t even know the questions to ask until I’m in the thick of research. Without that approach, you miss the good stuff. I tell children and others thinking about any topic that the best thing they can do is to ask, ask questions, ask questions!”

Jean will be available to answer questions, visit with teachers and autograph all four Mount Rushmore titles after her 2 pm presentation in the Wells Fargo Theater at The Journey Museum & Learning Center.

Jean is a guest speaker and storyteller at schools, libraries, and conferences throughout the United States. She is a Scholar and presenter for the South Dakota Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. A graduate of Luther College. Decorah, Iowa, with a Master’s Degree in English from Kansas State University, Jean broke into non-fiction writing with her award-winning Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth.

Learn more about Jean Patrick at
“Rockin’ Rushmore” is brought to you in part by the South Dakota Humanities Council Speakers Bureau.
Admission for Learning Forums is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $9 for students, & half-off for members (includes museum admission).
For more information and details about this event or other items, be sure to call (605) 394-6923 or email

The Journey Museum & Learning Center was established in 1997 and is conveniently located in downtown Rapid City at 222 New York St, 2 blocks east of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center right across from the Club for Boys. Make sure to visit to find additional schedule information and be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook!


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