Teachers, students work with local businesses on projects

May 29, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

The second-grade teachers at Carrolltowne Elementary School expanded their classrooms without laying a single brick.

Instead, they branched out to include the many businesses that lie just north of the school on Liberty Road, in the Carrolltown Center.

Coincidentally, the Kmart store in that shopping mall was looking for a school to participate in a competition the national chain is sponsoring with Kodak, called the "It's a Snap! Using Cameras in the Curriculum" contest.

"Kmart approached us at a time when we were planning a new social studies unit on the community," said second-grade teacher Maria Griffith.

"Part of that unit dealt with the environment in the community."

And as it happened, the environment fit nicely into the "My Beautiful World" theme of the It's a Snap! contest this year.

Students were asked to take a photo of something that was beautiful, and of something that needed improvement.

"The timing was so perfect," Ms. Griffith said. "We talked a lot about recycling. Kodak recycled all the [single-use] cameras the children used."

If the theme hadn't been something the teachers already were planning to explore, they might not have participated in the contest, Ms. Griffith said.

"I don't know if we would have had the time," she said.

Kodak provided a single-use camera for each of the 110 second-graders, and Kmart processed the film.

The grand prize winner was second-grader Lauren Topper, who won a Kodak FX camera kit.

Lauren got to use her camera last week when her father, John Topper, graduated from Loyola College.

Lauren's winning photo was of a stream rushing through woods near her grandparents' Howard County home.

"This is beautiful to me because it's clean and it's near my grandparents," Lauren wrote on her entry.

First-prize winner Megan Upman photographed something that needed improvement -- a large concrete pipe sitting exposed on a bare sandy hill.

Second-prize winner Michele McDonald also entered in the needs-improvement category, with a photo of a newspaper discarded in the gutter, where it had gotten wet and been run over by cars.

Litter, over-stuffed trash bins, potholes and decaying buildings were among the subjects children chose.

The most original, however, could be Jason Zuniga's photograph of the inside of his crowded refrigerator.

"This needs improvement," was all he wrote on his submission.

For beauty, the students went beyond the narrow definition of environment.

"This is my friend. He is beautiful because he is my friend," wrote second-grader Scott Salvo on his entry.

Several other students photographed people or pets.

Ms. Griffith and the other teachers also took the children to other South Carroll businesses as part of their unit on the community.

They went shopping for groceries at Super Fresh.

They went to Maryland National Bank, and a banker visited them for a follow-up talk in their classrooms.

They went to Denny's restaurant for breakfast.

Each child got a check and had to figure out a tip.

Lauren remembered her check was about $3, and the 15 percent tip would have come to 45 cents.

"We left 50 cents," she said, "because she was a good waitress."

The other second-grade teachers are Alyce Logan, Pam Parkhill and Leslie Carbaugh.

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