Parish religion classes answer charity's plea by raising money ELLICOTT CITY/ELKRIDGE

NEIGHBORS

April 12, 1993|By JEAN LESLIE

Last fall Food for the Poor Inc., an interdenominational charity serving the Caribbean poor, sent out a call for help. Resurrection Catholic Church's seventh-grade religious education classes, dTC headed by Chris and Kathie Duck, answered in a fun way.

On March 7, they held a Middle School Dance Party at the church for public and parochial school students. The dance raised $755 for the charity. In addition, seventh-grade students gave money from their own pockets, bringing the total contribution to nearly $840. This amount will provide a small house for a Haitian family, as well as necessities such as food, medicine, or chickens to start a small business.

The steering committee initiating the project included Paul Donohue, Kevin Drummond, Mike Duck, Matt Eller, Steve Hull, Kate Incontrera, Mike Novak, Crista Paschke, Kurt Vogler, Emma Young, and their teachers. Other seventh-grade students contributed hours of help and goodies to be sold.

Thanks also go to parish staff Linda Keedy, Mary Bode, Lyn Goeke and Mike Mason; to seventh-grade religious education teachers D.J. Chris Ashby, Lew Goode and Jim Gross; and to parents assisting with the dance.

Other religious education classes worked on diverse projects with great results.

Second- and fifth-graders donated seven food baskets to needy county residents through the Howard County Department of Social Services, and made contributions to a food pantry.

The children's home Villa Maria received posters from the kindergarten classes, new library books from the first grade, and gift shop items from the fifth grade at Christmas. Villa Maria will receive sports equipment in the future.

Third- and fourth-graders sent toiletries and socks to the Franciscan Center. Middle school youth adopted 18 families from the Franciscan Youth Center at Christmas, providing food, clothing and toys. Sixth- and seventh-graders sent over 300 pairs of new socks to the Sarah's House shelter, and eighth-graders contributed food and services to the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen.

Kudos to the students and teachers who make all these good works possible.

* Three Ellicott City students recently won awards at the Howard County Science Fair. As I talked with each winner, I was impressed at the sophistication and breadth of their experiments.

For example, Alex Sabet of Mayfield Woods Middle School won an award for his project, "Optical Illusions," which demonstrated different visual tricks, explaining how each might work.

Of particular interest was a black-and-white spinner which tricked the eye by appearing red while spinning. Alex told me that Proctor and Gamble used this optical illusion to create the illusion of a red Tide box on television before the invention of color TV.

Jason Hunter Shefrin from Howard High School worked with Dr. Donald Ingram and Ed Spangler at the Gerontology Research Center in Baltimore for his project, "The Effect of Nitric Oxide on the Learning Process."

In an experiment using laboratory rats, he administered a drug to eliminate the naturally occurring nitric oxide, and then examined their ability to go through mazes. He concluded that the presence of nitric oxide causes rats to acquire new information.

His results will be part of a study that could have practical application to the prevention of memory loss in Alzheimer's disease patients.

In her two-year project, "Grandmother's Cure for Gum Disease," Amita Shukla from Centennial High School examined periodontal disease, which she said affects 91% of the adult population.

She grew plaque bacteria and studied the effect of acids on the bacteria growth, concluding that acidity does not play a role in the growth of plaque.

What an impressive display of scientific talent there is in our community.

*

The string of bluebird boxes that parallels Routes 70 and 32 needs community members to care for them and their inhabitants. The project, sponsored by the Audubon Society of Central Maryland, involves cleaning out old bluebird nests and monitoring the boxes through April and May to prevent the nesting of "pest" birds such as starlings and sparrows. In May, after the eggs have been laid, a weekly check is necessary to follow up how many birds fledge, survive their early days, and then leave the nest. Member Jan Smith does the bulk of the work and could use some help.

But that's not all the Audubon Society does. Member Bill Becraft manages another project, the large wildlife sanctuary in Mount Airy, donated to the Society by Audrey Carroll Fichter upon her death. A large-scale tree planting is planned for Earth Day, which falls on April 24 this year.

Because it has three different bodies of water, including wetlands, the sanctuary is home to many species of wildlife, including the rare painted turtle. On one day this January, Society member Dave Smith identified more than 60 species of birds there.

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