Severna Park students brighten children's corner CENTRAL COUNTY * Arnold * Broadneck * Severna Park * Crownsville * Millersville

October 01, 1992|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Staff Writer

The children's corner in the Glen Burnie office of the Department of Social Services will be a little brighter thanks to the efforts of a group of Severna Park High School students.

The students, who last year formed a chapter of the Maryland Student Service Alliance, painted a colorful six-panel mural of an African savanna, which will be hung today in the Social Services office at 7500 Ritchie Highway.

"Kids have to be there for hours at a time while their parents are filling out forms," said Cindy Bilbrough, a member of the Student Service Alliance who helped paint the panel. "It was really uncheerful," she said.

"The walls were really bare," agreed Christine Paulsen, director of volunteer services for the Department of Social Services. "A lot of our children spend a lot of time in our waiting room. It's nice to have a space for them."

The panel features purple elephants, yellow tigers, orange deer, a blue monkey, green ducks and a red giraffe.

"It will make the place more cheerful-looking," said Serap Hason, a member of the Student Service Alliance.

Welton Lilley, a Severna Park High School art teacher who advises the alliance, said he designed the mural "to stimulate the children's imaginations."

The students spent a number of school days last spring drawing the pictures on the boards and painting the pictures with acrylic paints.

"It was kind of like paint by numbers," said Sheila McDermott, another organization member.

Although the students admit they are not artists, "everybody helped each other," said Sharon Koch, a Severna Park senior.

The Maryland Student Service Alliance, a state-wide organization, has three chapters in Anne Arundel. Each chooses the type of work it does. Some work on environmental projects, others assist the elderly. The students at Severna Park High School decided to help disadvantaged children.

In addition to painting the mural, they have collected books and toys to put in the children's corner at the social services office. "I had a whole closet of toys and books I gave," said Judy Kang.

This year, with a number of new members, the Severna Park chapter is planning to help children in homeless shelters.

The students who joined last year were junior girls, who said they were attracted to the Alliance because it seemed more focused than other student clubs.

"It was a little different than other groups," said Jennifer Collins.

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