Bay funds raise 2 schools' stream of consciousness

January 22, 1995|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writer

Two elementary schools studying the Chesapeake Bay as part of English and arithmetic assignments are among the 10 Anne Arundel County agencies that have received a total of just over $25,000 from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

In the past several weeks, the trust has issued $350,325 to 103 projects around the state.

Rolling Knolls Elementary School in Annapolis received $810 to bring in science specialists for 16 fourth-graders. Students in the "hands-on" sessions have learned about the bay's estuaries by mixing freshwater and saltwater. They have two more sessions.

They also have had demonstrations on acid rain and on cleaning up an oil spill, said Michelle Day, reading teacher for Title I disadvantaged students.

Ms. Day said the sessions blend science, social studies and reading. The youngsters first read about environmental issues, learn geography and apply math skills, such as measurements and charts.

"It's really helped to enhance our science program," Ms. Day said of the trust's award.

Last year the school used a grant to send the children sailing on the bay for a day, she said. While on the bay, the children were able to see what thrives in the waters.

Van Bokkelen Elementary School in Severn is receiving a $908 grant to subsidize field trips and to plant trees on school property.

Anne Jones, a teacher at Van Bokkelen, said she hopes the trees, saplings the state gives third-graders, eventually will line the path from the school to Severn Run. The tributary runs behind school property.

Many of Van Bokkelen's pupils live in the Pioneer City public housing project. For them, a subsidy can mean the difference between being able to go on a field trip and having to stay at home. Thanks to the grant, 75 children will be able to go on two field trips instead of one, said Mrs. Jones.

"We can't believe what they learn. They just don't seem to ever forget it," Ms. Jones said. "How do you explain a swan to a kid? You can't. You've just got to see it. You can't provide these experiences by talking about it."

The children also have learned to read road maps and trace the path of the stream that runs from behind Pioneer City to the Chesapeake Bay. This reinforces the idea that whatever the children dump into the stream will end up in the bay, she said.

Other grants in Anne Arundel County include:

* $432 to South River High School for erosion prevention on school grounds;

* $4,000 to the Alliance for Community Education to put on the Annapolis Summit workshop last fall;

* $2,180 to the South County Conservation Trust for a seminar and two newsletters on conservation easements;

* $5,990 to the Anne Arundel County Forest Conservancy District Board for teacher workshops;

* $4,185 to Chesapeake Appreciation Inc. to print a publication on restoration of oyster populations;

* $987 to the Annapolis Landing Homeowners Association for a wildlife habitat planting project;

* $4,551 to the South County Environmental Commission to print and mail a brochure on waterfront buffers; and,

* $1,000 to the Maryland Watermen's Association for a bay education exhibit.

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