The Scene, County currents and undercurrents

The Scene, County currents and undercurrents

November 28, 1990

WILDE LAKE HIGH PLANTS SEEDS OF THANKS TO JANITOR

For 15 years, Lawrence Bewley mopped and vacuumed and dusted and cleaned toilets at Wilde Lake High School. Then he got sick.

Bewley's sister Shirley Bailey, who is speaking for him, doesn't want to reveal the nature of her brother's illness. But the 76-year-old custodian is seriously ill; he has been unable to report for work for the last two months and it is doubtful that he will ever return to his job.

Owen Donley knew about the situation, so when the Howard County Association of Student Councils planned to plant trees as a community service on Election Day, the Wilde Lake High School student had a suggestion.

Why not solicit pledges for the tree-planting work and donate the money to Bewley?

Nov. 6 was cold but bright and sunny, perfect tree-planting weather.

Thirty-two students, a couple of kid brothers, student activities coordinator Richard Wright and his son, joined by workers from the county Department of Recreation and Parks, headed out at 8:30 a.m. with shovels and seedlings.

The group planted more than 300 trees, reported Parag Desai, the Atholton High School student who heads HCASC's community service committee.

The seedlings were set out on county-owned land near the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center.

The students will not know how much money they have raised until they collect the pledges, Desai said, but they hope to be able to donate approximately $500.

Bewley is a bachelor who still lives in the house off Rolling Road in Baltimore County where he was born and raised, his sister reported.

He was one of 13 children, and had 10 brothers and two sisters, although his oldest sister and three brothers are dead.

"He's just a wonderful guy," Bailey said.

Apparently, the students who knew him at Wilde Lake agree.

SOURCE: Donna E. Boller

GUILFORD NATURE AREA GAINS NOTICE IN AFRICA

The story of Guilford Elementary's nature area is going beyond Howard County, across the Atlantic Ocean, to an audience estimated at 5 million people.

The Hausa Service of the Voice of America is using the nature area story -- "Students will study nature the natural way," which appeared in the Oct.

28 issue of The Howard County Sun -- as the focus for a two-part series for "Ilmi Garkuwar Dan Adam," an education program.

The Guilford Elementary nature area is an attempt by students to create an environment, teeming with life, for studying life-sciences outside of the classroom.

Before groundbreaking took place last month, it was difficult to find any wildlife -- even insects -- around the school.

Hausa, one of the VOA's 42 language services, is spoken primarily in the African nation of Nigeria, the most populous country on the continent.

Linguistically, Hausa is the mother tongue for the many Moslem citizens of Nigeria and the region.

From VOA's headquarters in Washington, Kabiru Fagge, writer of "Ilmi Garkuwar Dan Adam," said his native country would be interested in Guilford's nature area because of "its nature factor for mobilizing, informing and educating young students who are eager to study the wildlife behind the school. We call it 'outdoor curriculum activity' in Nigeria."

Another reason for Fagge's choice of Guilford's nature area is what the school has in common with Nigerian schools.

"Like Guilford Elementary School, primary schools in Nigeria lack outdoor science environments," he said.

"Their (Guilford's) science classes concentrate much on what we call 'rural science,' which emphasizes gardening. Students do not get out of the classroom until they reach secondary schools. This project is a very good experiment; Nigeria will be glad to be associated with it."

In response, teacher Barbara Conn said she was "impressed." Conn, a mentor for the students, began the drive for the nature area.

She further saw the bigger picture of a student-inspired project influencing other students an ocean apart.

"What impresses me most about the Voice of America using the story is that it shows that children can make a difference, and the effects are sometimes far-reaching."

"Ilmi Garkuwar Dan Adam" runs on the Hausa Service's Friday 2030 GMT (3:30 p.m. EST) broadcast, approximately 15 minutes into the show.

Part one featuring Guilford Elementary is scheduled for Dec. 21, with part two running Dec. 28.

Those with shortwave radios can tune into 15195, 17640 and 17785 kilohertz. With the nights longer than day in the Northern Hemisphere at this time of the year, shortwave reception should be possible in the late afternoon.

SOURCE: Patrick L. Hickerson

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