Aspiring Eagle Scout starts activity clubs at Elmer Wolfe Elementary

NEIGHBORS

April 07, 1994|By MICHELLE HOFFMAN

"It was really great," Elmer Wolfe Elementary School student Adam Stultz said of the after-school programs his big brother organized for the students. "We got to do a lot of really neat things."

Adam's big brother is Jason Stultz, a freshman at Francis Scott Key High School. Jason is a life member of the Boy Scouts in Troop 393 and is working toward the rank of Eagle Scout.

One requirement he had to fulfill was to perform a community service project. His idea was to form a series of after-school clubs for the students of Elmer Wolfe Elementary. He chose this school because he had attended classes there and because Adam is a fourth-grader there.

Mary Stong, the principal of the school, was supportive.

"Dr. Stong and I compiled a list of eight clubs we thought would be appropriate and would get the best responses," Jason said. Then Jason sent out a checklist asking parents which clubs they would like to see formed and which they would like their child to attend.

Jason had a personal interest in all of the clubs, "But I wanted to do what the kids wanted."

The end result was six clubs: in art, Bible study, photography, sign language, woodworking, and writing-computer lab. All instruction was done on a volunteer basis by parents, local artists, local high school students working on community service projects toward graduation credits, and Dr. Stong.

For the past six weeks, every Friday Dr. Stong noticed an increased enthusiasm among the students to attend school because they knew that Fridays meant attending the after-school clubs.

From 3:10 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. a snack was provided in the cafeteria. Club sessions were conducted from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., at which time parents were expected to pick up their children.

Dr. Stong said she was pleased that 110 students, a third of the school population in first through fourth grades, attended. She said there are "so many creative minds" among the students, and the offerings "sparked" their creativity.

Throughout the six weeks, Jason monitored each club's progress.

He saw the art club students make ceramic pots. The sign language group learned a song. The woodworking bunch made birdhouses and bird feeders. The photography club learned about lighting and taking quality pictures. The Bible class learned stories from Genesis. And the writing students learned about writing poetry, stories and their autobiographies.

When asked how receptive the students were, Jason said, "At first a few of the kids didn't get along, but then [toward the end of the session] they did." He said at first the children "thought they didn't have to listen to the instructors, like they were substitute teachers," but once they learned the "instructors were capable and could send them to the office if they acted up, then they behaved."

Last Thursday, Jason presented each instructor with a fruit basket and a card as a thanks for their hard work. The presents were paid for by the students.

Jason said he feels the purpose of the clubs was accomplished. "It kept the kids from going home and just watching TV," he said. "It gave them a hobby they could use for life," he said.

"It was wonderful working with Jason," said Dr. Stong. "He followed through each task."

She said she hopes to offer the clubs twice next year, for six weeks in the fall and six weeks in the spring. She called this year's session a "springboard" to make the program a yearly event.

Now that the clubs are over, Jason will send home a questionnaire asking parents and students what they liked and what they feel needs to be changed for next year's programs. According to his troop leader, Jack Bell, Jason then has to submit a final report explaining his results that will be considered part of his Eagle Badge requirement.

Mr. Bell said the community service experience is used as a learning tool.

"Learning how to plan a project of this proportion teaches young persons skills and abilities that can be used in future jobs or after they get out of school. So far, I am very pleased with Jason's efforts and results."

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Messiah United Methodist Church of Taneytown will hold a turkey and fried shrimp dinner at the Taneytown Fireman's Activity Building on Memorial Drive from noon to 5 p.m. April 16.

The menu will consist of turkey, fried shrimp, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, sauerkraut, homemade applesauce, corn, coffee, hot tea, and cake for dessert.

The cost for the meal is $8 for adults, $4.50 for children ages 5-12, and free for children under 5 years old.

Information: 756-6085.

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The American Legion Hesson-Snider Post 120 in Taneytown will hold a bull and oyster feed on April 16 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Beer will be served, so you must be at least 21 years old to attend.

Tickets are $14 per person and may be picked up at the bar of the post, at 9 Broad St. in Taneytown, or by calling the post at 756-2219.

Additional information: 756-6308 or 756-6769.

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The Taneytown Republican Women's Club will hold a public card party on Wednesday, April 20, at the American Legion in Taneytown.

Games begin at 7:30 p.m. There will be prizes and refreshments.

A $2 donation is requested.

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