Fiesta to teach culture south of the border NORTH -- Manchester * Hampstead * Lineboro


February 17, 1993|By PAT BRODOWSKI

Ah! Fiesta!

Friday is Fiesta Day at North Carroll Middle School. Sombreros and striped ponchos meet colorful skirts and blouses as sixth-graders dress as senors or senoritas for a day. In their new Latin and South American personas, they will go from classroom to classroom to experience a different cultural experience in each one.

Fiesta! The excitement of swinging to break a dangling pinata. The scent of refried beans, chopped tomatoes, perhaps a chili pepper or two. Students cook -- and taste -- recipes from south of the border.

Gauchos! A cowboy, not long off his horse, doing rope tricks with stunning accuracy.

Fiesta! It's adventure into the antique. Forgotten aspects of Mayan, Aztec and Inca cultures are presented by students through models and oral reports. Given once in class, now about 60 will be shown to the whole sixth grade.

"Some kids went all-out," says Sue Rittmeyer, parent volunteer coordinator for the fiesta.

Her son Bryan saw one report in which "One boy made a stuffed doll and put an apple inside. Then he cut it open and took a bite to simulate the blood sacrifice. It was terrific."

For the 315 students, Fiesta Day celebrates their lengthy study of Latin and South America taught by social studies teachers Dave Renaut, Don Abbey and Ralph Blevins.

The day of cultural arts, food and fun wouldn't be possible without lots of parent volunteers, says coordinator Sue Rittmeyer. (Only parent volunteers may attend.) She's encouraging the volunteers to don Latin American costumes, too.

If you see your neighbors sporting a bolder, brighter look on Friday, you'll know they're off to help at the fiesta.


Sweaters. Everyone has one. Casual, glitzy, rustic, delicate. From the faded pullover to the elegant cardigan.

Folks at the North Carroll Senior Center will put on their favorite sweaters for a sweater show and luncheon at 11 a.m. Feb. 25.

"We'll have all kinds, not all handmade, depending upon what a person wants to show," said Frances Barnes, a volunteer at the center. She's arranged for a variety from sweat shirts and vests, to casual and evening sweaters. Men's sweaters will be modeled, too.

The luncheon and show will cost $3, and reservations are required by Friday. Plan to pull on a sweater and meet some new friends.

Information: 239-6400.


Art teacher Jan Van Bibber, who teaches at Spring Garden Elementary in Hampstead, never stops discovering ways to stimulate her students in the study of art and its techniques.

Under her skillful guidance, third-graders have developed fine drawing skills in estimating size and shape. They've learned to draw creditable architectural illustrations.

Sure, they looked at pictures of houses. But shutters, bricks and windows all have been represented in a readable, expressive way.

The fourth-graders have designed and have been busily stitching a queen-sized quilt that's brought expert help from the quilting community. They learned to stitch -- a difficult enough task by itself -- on canvas and muslin, and graduated to the finely worked quilt.

"We've turned the final panel," said Mrs. Van Bibber. She said the children might finish the enormous project ahead of schedule.

Fifth-graders also studied primitive mask-making by patiently creating their own. Students painted around eyes and hair with petroleum jelly. Each learned to trust that classmate, who patiently applied layers of plaster cloth and peeled away the very individual mask.

Tomorrow, and three days next week, Mrs. Van Bibber's fifth-grade students will enter a the world of live-model painting; one student's father has agreed to pose for the class.

"We'll draw and paint as he plays guitar," the teacher said. She plans to clothe the model in a Gypsy costume. Many artists of the 19th century painted in this theme.

Mrs. Van Bibber has selected works by Pierre Matisse and Miriam Shapiro to entice fifth-graders to develop their own expression.

Are artists born or are they made?

At Spring Garden, let's watch and find out.

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