Running Brook school prepares to celebrate 25th anniversary


January 17, 1996|By Liz Lean | Liz Lean,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

RICHARD NIXON was president, "American Pie" was climbing the pop charts and Friday nights meant "The Brady Bunch" when Running Brook Elementary School opened in 1971.

Now the staff, students and alumni of Running Brook are preparing for an assembly and community dinner on May 31 to mark the school's 25th birthday.

Students have been researching how the world, the nation and the school have changed since 1971, said Sue Portney, Running Brook's resource teacher for the gifted and talented program.

Students interviewed three staff members who have worked at the school since the day it opened: physical education teacher Don Bull, head custodian Jerry Young and instructional assistant Bertha Rundles.

Wizie Razendran and Theresa Reamer, two early alumnae who still live in Columbia, have also talked to students.

Ms. Razendran, a member of Running Brook's first first-grade class, showed home movies of the school's opening day. Ms. Reamer's daughter, Isha Kir, is now a fifth-grader at Running Brook.

Students have competed in monthly events, including a contest to design a 25th-birthday T-shirt. Fourth-grader David Marmo and fifth-grader Ashleigh Haddad created the winning design.

The school invites former students and staff members to contribute memories and memorabilia. Call Mrs. Portney at 313-6893.

Civil rights activists

Town Center resident Albert "Red" Heffner and his late wife, Malva, were featured in the documentary "Freedom on My Mind" that aired Monday on Maryland Public Television in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

The 1994 film recalls civil rights workers' efforts to register black voters in Mississippi in the early 1960s. The Heffners, a white family with deep roots in the McComb community, were threatened and ostracized for welcoming civil rights workers into their home.

Mr. Heffner eventually gave up his once-thriving insurance business, and the family moved north.

Mrs. Heffner died last spring.

'Resolution to Read'

January is Reading Month at schools across the nation, and Bryant Woods Elementary School has packed its calendar with special events.

Reading specialist Fran Clay is asking families to sign a "January Resolution to Read" and to designate one day a week as television-free.

Events include daily trivia contests, guest readers and days to dress up as a favorite character or come to school in pajamas with a pillow, blanket and favorite book.

Curious George will visit the school at 7 p.m. Tuesday for the kickoff of the "Running Start" program to develop a lifelong love of reading among today's first-graders, said Joann Alexander, a parent leader of the reading effort.

Slayton House, the community center at Wilde Lake Village Green, is holding a "Donate a Dollar" campaign to help purchase a book for every child who attends the kickoff.

Russian guests

Seven sociologists on a fact-finding trip from Russia will be guests tomorrow at the 8 p.m. meeting of the Substance Abuse Ministry of St. John Baptist Church.

The meeting will be held in the library of the Interfaith Center in Wilde Lake. Jasper Clay is chairman of the ministry.

Sisterhood Shabbat

Women will be in the spotlight all weekend at the annual Sisterhood Shabbat of Beth Shalom, Howard County's Conservative Jewish congreg- ation, said spokeswoman Claudia Andorsky.

Women will lead the weekend's activities, beginning with the service at 8 p.m. Friday. Joane Silberner, a National Public Radio commentator, will be the guest speaker.

The synagogue is at 8070 Guilford Road in Hickory Ridge.

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