Young students say yes to 'Just Say No' program


April 02, 1996|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

KEEPING KIDS off drugs should be every parent's goal. Informing students of the dangers of drug abuse and other related issues is the aim of the Just Say No program, which educates children about the dangers of drug abuse and fosters a positive self-image.

Students at the elementary level are encouraged to join Just Say No clubs at their schools.

Fifth-grade students from several area elementary schools took part in a Just Say No program at Mechanicsville Elementary School last week. Susan White-Bowden, author of three books and former anchor and reporter for a Baltimore television station, spoke.

The event started with the students repeating the Just Say No pledge, then singing a rousing rap version of the pledge that had been set to music by Mechanicsville parent volunteer Vicki Yarnell.

Students clamored to be part of the mini-fashion show. Students from Mechanicsville, Robert Moton and Sandymount schools modeled T-shirts and hats sporting the Just Say No slogan. Ms. White-Bowden shared wisdom and advice about setting personal goals and reaching for your dreams as she talked about her career in reporting and her life as a mother and grandmother. She also shared the fact that drugs were a factor in the suicide of her son, Jody, at age 17.

Ms. White-Bowden, who has been addressing Just Say No clubs in Carroll County for several years, said that "drugs are the single most destructive force in our society today."

She is hopeful that a countywide Just Say No event can be organized for all fifth-grade students despite the logistical concerns.

The Mechanicsville event was organized by Joanne Hayes, coordinator for the county's Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, and by Just Say No representatives at each school.

A grant from the Safe and Drug Free Schools program paid for the students' transportation.

Easter egg hunt

The Easter Bunny made an early appearance at Carrolltowne Elementary School last weekend to the delight of hundreds of children. Super Fresh in Eldersburg sponsored its sixth annual Easter Egg hunt for those 8 and younger.

The weather was picture-perfect as the children searched high and low for the colorful eggs hidden in the school's grassy fields. The plastic eggs contained color-coded papers that the children exchanged for prizes.

Fifty prizes were awarded in each of three age groups: babies to age 3; 4 and 5; and 6 to 8. All who attended the egg hunt were invited to enjoy refreshments donated by Super Fresh and other area businesses.

Teacher wins award

The Maryland Army National Guard recently honored a Liberty High School teacher. Michelle Singer, adviser for the school's student newspaper, received the State of Maryland Commendation Medal.

Ms. Singer, a graduate of Liberty High and Towson State University, was honored for her outstanding support of the Maryland Army National Guard and its Student Journalist Program. She was instrumental in starting the only Student Journalist Program in Carroll County, at Liberty High.

Chinese health classes

Three Treasures Health Services in Sykesville is offering new sessions of instruction in the Chinese arts of Taiji and Qi Gong.

Taiji uses slow, circular continuous movements to provide internal and external conditioning. Study of Taiji rewards students with strength and flexibility, improved circulation, calmer emotions and more peaceful sleep.

Classes in Taiji are scheduled from 6: 30 p.m. to 7: 45 p.m. Tuesdays April 16 to May 21 and June 11 to July 16. The cost is $75 for the six-week session.

Graceful movements are the hallmark of Qi Gong and are simple to learn. Instruction in stretching, breathing, relaxation, meditation and other Qi Gong exercises will be presented.

Classes will be held Thursdays from 7 p.m. 8 p.m. from April 18 to May 23 and June 1 to July 18. The cost is $75 per six-week session.

Taiji and Qi Gong are taught by Frances Gander, a graduate of the Traditional Acupuncture Institute in Columbia, who has studied for 20 years.

Information or registration: 549-0156.

Sherry Graham's Southeast Carroll neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 4/02/96

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