Workshop will look at family television use with a critical eye

NEIGHBORS

January 07, 1994|By LOURDES SULLIVAN

If you're like me, you swore the television would be tuned only to PBS. Oh, no, you'd never use the TV as a baby sitter. But, because there are some good programs available, and we learn so much through our eyes, you decided to have a TV in the house after all. Maybe even have cable.

Right.

So how come the kids know the theme to "Wacko Rangers and the Amazing Techno Cats" or some such thing, instead of "Carmen"?

We all use TV to relax, to be entertained as much as to be informed. But there is always the sneaking suspicion that we are letting TV run away with our time.

Next week, Annamarie Pluhar offers a workshop for parents on "Television and Your Family." Among the topics covered are how television affects parenting, and whether it helps or hinders your parenting goals.

Obviously, the amount of time spent watching TV has an enormous impact on our lives. After all, there are only, at most, six hours of free time in a day (24 hours, minus eight hours for sleep, eight for work or school, two for commuting and personal hygiene).

If you watch two movies a night, there's not much time left for sports, reading, hobbies or thinking.

So if you are uncertain about the tube in your life, come to the workshops.

The two-hour presentation will be offered at the Savage Library from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and at the Miller branch in Ellicott City Wednesday. Call 461-7646 for more details.

*

Judy Rice, the gifted and talented resource teacher at Laurel Woods Elementary School, along with Edy Whitehead, the media assistant, entered some Laurel Woods students in the Howards County Public School System's 1993 Computer Learning Month Contest.

Well, the students worked hard and have reaped the benefits of their labor, winning several prizes.

Second-graders Hilary Boquel and Michael Patrick won third place in the K-2 essay contest.

First-graders Jessica Gray, Claire French and David Lee won honorable mentions. First-grader Bobby Blush won second place the computer-generated art competition. Elijah Andrews won an honorable mention in that same competition.

The older students really shone in the contest. The "Laurel Woods Post," a newspaper edited by fifth-grader Lauren Tangredi with contributions by Cara Vucci and Erica Brotzman won the first prize in the essay division of the third- to fifth-grade contest.

Fourth-grader Gwen Freeman won second place for her computer-generated art project. Fourth-grader Vincent Edo and fifth-graders Justin Toporcer, William Lee, Corrine Lukacsina and Vidhi Mifra all won honorable mentions.

Congratulations for all the virtuosos of the keyboard out there!

*

Carol Ferguson, the Laurel Woods Elementary teacher who calls to tell me neat stuff like the above, also mentioned that the school is focusing on reading this year.

Today, local school celebrities, such as former principals and members of the board of education, will stop by to read to and with the students in the classrooms as part of Celebrity Reading Day.

In addition, reading specialists Holly Smith and Cathy Nelka came up with the RATS program: "Reading Around the School." (Everyone knows the importance of a good acronym.)

The program works like this:

The kids read books at home. Their parents then send the school a reading slip with the book title on it. Some time in June, adroit members of the PTA will make a giant paper chain of the slips.

Then, it's outdoors they go, to circle the school in the chain of books. Ruth Asher's fourth-grade math class has tried to calculate how many links will be needed to circumnavigate the school. Guess we'll have to wait until June to know if they were right.

Anyway, Ms. Ferguson assures me that the pile of book slips gets higher each day.

*

The Forest Ridge recreation center again is taking advantage of the available kitchen to run Wee Chefs and Culinary Kids, story and craft programs that involve food and cooking. These two eight-week programs run Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 12:45 a.m., beginning Jan 15.

The cost is $24, with an additional $10 materials fee. This may be the cheapest baby-sitting around for those hectic Saturday errand runs. Call 880-5855 for details.

*

Kinder basketball is being offered for the first time at the Forest Ridge School recreation center for preschoolers and kindergartners.

This eight-week program begins Jan. 15 at 9 a.m., costs $18 and lasts for 45 minutes, after which your tired preschooler should be amenable to suggestion.

Call Brian Emelson at 410-880-5855 for details.

*

Registration for the Savage Library's program for 3-year-olds to 5-year-olds begins Monday.

Just For Me is a five-week, half-hour series for preschoolers that runs on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. and Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. Slots fill fast, so hurry to register. Call Laura Lunking at 880-5978 for details and to register.

*

My favorite New Year's resolution is to do my taxes early, so I can get a refund as fast as I can. The Savage Library has a number of tax forms in the lobby. However, not all of the forms have yet arrived. Neither have all of the volumes of the IRS' reproducible form books for this year. So give the library a call to find out if the form you need is available. The number is 880-5975.

*

Bob Mitzel again is coordinating the joint program of the American Association of Retired Persons and the IRS to help seniors do their taxes. As of today, he plans to offer the free tax service on Monday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Savage Library, beginning in February.

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