MARY KAMERMAN, counselor intern at Long Reach High School, saw a need and devised a program to fill it.
This is the first academic year at Long Reach -- all of its students are either new to the area or have transferred from another school. After the initial chaos of settling in, Kamerman decided the girls needed a way to get to know each other better. With the support of Principal David Bruzga, Kamerman organized a support group, Big Sisters, Little Sisters.
None of this could have come about without the involvement of the girls. Because there is no senior class, the freshmen and juniors met for a "brainstorming" session with Bruzga and Kamerman.
Big Sisters, Little Sisters was a mutual decision. "The group meets two of our schoolwide objectives," Bruzga says, "promoting cultural diversity and awareness and fostering academic excellence."
It was the girls who decided that the juniors would "adopt" freshmen whom they would support and for whom they would act as mentors. The girls were to help each other in their mutual transition to a new school.
Part of the program involves guest speakers who talk with the girls about personal problems and career opportunities.
The girls have been advised about careers as hairstylists and beauticians by "George of New York's" owner Karen Engel and beautician Shari Smith, a member of Engle's staff. Both women are graduates of Howard County Technology School.
Jacki DeBlasio, a registered nurse at Howard County Hospital, discussed personal health care and health careers.
Long Reach High School English teacher Virginia Himmelheber demonstrated crafts to make and wear and talked about careers as artisans.
This week, Linda Szarno, Aloette Cosmetics representative, will discuss "Makeup: What's Appropriate For The Workplace."
Next month, East Columbian Lisa Dabbs of Dabbs Chiropractic Clinic will tell the girls the importance of good posture for good health and explain "Beautiful Back" careers. Computer analyst Jeannie Jeffrey of Nortech Inc. will discuss "Careers in the 21st Century."
By the end of the series, the girls will have a wealth of information to help build self-confidence, and it is hoped they will have formed a close-knit group of friends.
"The program strives to meet the unique needs of students and extend their involvement to other areas of the school," Kamerman said.
Out of Africa
Talbott Springs' first-graders had a grand finale to their Black History Month classes. The children had studied about the Nile River -- trade, farming, pyramids, ancient architecture and animals of Africa.
First-grade teacher Frankye Holland-Ayeh "changed hats" to become an African griot -- a storyteller -- and read Jane Cowan Fletch's "It Takes A Village" and Aesop's fables.
After the students learned to count in Swahili, they surprised their teachers by counting to 10 in their native French, Spanish, Indian, Korean, Chinese, Russian and German.
Pearl Ribeiro-Ayeh of Ghana, told about African traditions and brought masks, wood carvings and textiles for the pupils to examine and touch. The students had a "tasting party" of groundnut soup and plantains while they listened to music of Ghana.
New church staff
New Hope Lutheran Church's Pastor Gerard Knoche has announced that Meg Mahoney has joined his office staff as part-time secretary. Mahoney is an active church member. She assists with the children's choir, is a member of the hand chime choir and leads the church's new women's music group who sing "barbershop" Christian music.
She and her husband, Mike, have two daughters, Kate and Erin. Gail and Chris Winslow have been named volunteers of the month. Gail teaches Sunday school, supervised its Christmas program, and teaches vacation Bible school. She also kept her sewing machine humming, making many of the costumes for the church pageant.
Chris is known as a church constitution and bylaws expert and has served on the Church Council. They have both served on the Altar Guild as well.
The Rev. Richard Tillman of St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Parish, says that his church's social ministry secretary, Barbara Hope, was honored with a certificate of appreciation from Cardinal William H. Keeler at the annual Archdiocese of Baltimore's Social Ministry Convocation held at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore on March 4.
The St. John's Choir, directed by Chris Youstra, sang at the ceremonies. Its selections, "We Are Called," "The Wondrous Day of Our God" ("The Song of Mark") and "We Shall Overcome" (Agape) reflected the social service theme of the meeting.
The public is invited to hear St. John's choir's rendition of "The Song of Mark" at a Palm Sunday concert at 7 p.m. at Wilde Lake Interfaith Center.
St. Patty plans
With St. Patrick's Day less than a week away, families are invited to this evening's "Celtic Tales," featuring Michael Gaudreau, at 7 p.m., at the East Columbia library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Owen Brown Village. Information: (410) 313-7730 or (410) 313-7750.
Bet Yeladim preschool's "Monte Carlo Bingo Extravaganza" will be held Saturday at the Beth Shalom Synagogue, 8070 Harriet Tubman Lane. Information: (410) 730-2010 or (410) 290-0345.
Pub Date: 3/11/97