Gooey Day Ahead

January 19, 1994|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

Marley Middle School, prepare to be slimed.

Nickelodeon, the cable television children's channel, will take over the school in Glen Burnie for a day next month, after a student there won a sweepstakes prize from among about 120,000 entries.

"It's every kid's dream," said Nickelodeon publicist Bill Wright.

"They take over your school for the whole day. You get to slime your teacher," said sixth-grader Breann Whitcomb of Harundale, the 11-year-old whose postcard won the sixth annual national contest.

Nick Takes Over Your School will bring stars from several of its shows, along with dancers, science experiments, a sloppy obstacle course and -- of course -- the channel's trademark gooey slime that is more than likely to end up covering the principal and a few teachers. The antics will begin with the raising of the Nickelodeon flag on Feb. 17, and children can forget schoolwork for the day, Mr. Wright said.

Principals at the five previous winning schools have been slimed, and Robert Janovsky is expected to be similarly honored. About a dozen teachers have agreed to be slimed as well. On Nickelodeon, even Steven Spielberg has been slimed.

Breann and her 8-year-old sister, Ashley, each sent three postcards to Nickelodeon early last fall. Watching the shows after school, they had seen contest promotions and snips of videotapes of past Nick Takes Over Your School around the country.

"Last year, I saw kids going down a whipped cream slide -- it looks great," Breann said. The children copied the contest address from TV and lobbied their mother for postcards.

"I tried to explain to them that the chances were really slim. There were so many children entering. And they said, 'No, we're going to win,' " said their mother, Shirley Whitcomb.

Mrs. Whitcomb and Mr. Janovsky knew Breann had won before Breann did. Her father, Keith Whitcomb, broke the news.

"My dad sat me down. I thought I was in trouble. He said there's something we have to talk about," Breann said.

She was thrilled and promptly notified everyone.

After the Nickelodeon advance crew visited the school Dec. 20 to begin making arrangements, "I did a split down the hall, I was so excited," Breann said.

Every child at Marley Middle will get a Nick Takes Over Your School T-shirt and a chance to run through a sloppy "Double Dare" obstacle course, Mr. Wright said.

Among the stars the network expects to bring will be "Double Dare" host Marc Summers, Melissa Joan Hart of "Clarissa Explains It All," dancers from "Roundhouse" and cartoon characters from "The Ren & Stimpy Show," Mr. Wright said.

Don Herbert, a.k.a. "Mr. Wizard," will do science experiments, perhaps in two assemblies, Mr. Janovsky said. The TV personality will leave the school Mr. Wizard's Science Video Library, a collection of his shows valued at $1,300, Mr. Wright said.

A Nickelodeon crew will videotape the events not just for posterity, but for possible inclusion in the network's programs.

Breann will split the $1,000 prize with Ashley "because my sister got the number off TV," she said.

For both, there's more. Ashley will spend the day at Marley Middle instead of in her third-grade classroom at Glendale Elementary School. A Nickelodeon bus will arrive at the Whitcomb house to take the youngsters and two of Breann's friends to school.

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