Bryant Woods 5th-graders take 'the best field trip in the world'


October 08, 1997|By Kathy Curtis | Kathy Curtis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FIFTH-GRADERS from Bryant Woods Elementary School crossed a lake on a wire bridge and crawled through a suspended net, during what they described as "the best field trip in the world."

The 62 students were continuing a school tradition with their visit Sept. 24 to the Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center near Parkton.

Accompanying the students were fifth-grade teachers Carol Hahn and Tom Stroh, Assistant Principal John Hammett and several parents.

The students were divided into small groups, each led by a counselor from the learning center.

The youngsters faced outdoor challenges designed to encourage teamwork and develop problem-solving skills.

Shouts of "I did it!" rang out as they solved each problem, Hahn said.

The challenge for the parents, she added, was to stay on the sidelines and let the students solve the problems for themselves.

"The kids absolutely love it," Hahn said.

"We do it in the fall so they can start working as a group. It sets the tone for the rest of the school year."

For the parent chaperones, there was an unusual bonus -- buses filled with quiet children -- some of them fast asleep -- all the way home.

Surfing the Internet

Atholton High School kicked off the recent statewide Net Weekend by inviting senior citizens from Sunrise of Columbia to visit the school Sept. 26 to surf the Internet.

Students were assigned to work one-on-one with the senior citizens.

Reg Hahne, the school's technology instructional leader, organized the event.

He was assisted by Heather Sites, program coordinator at Sunrise.

Atholton already has a partnership with the assisted-living facility in Hickory Ridge, but so far it has consisted mainly of student music groups going to the senior center to entertain residents.

"I wanted them to come to the school," Hahne said.

He briefed the senior citizens the week before the visit; he suggested they do a "homework assignment" -- copying Web addresses shown on television commercials.

Only one of the senior citizens who visited the school had computer experience, Hahne said. But they all brought addresses.

One man wanted to find the Web page for his alma mater so he could catch up on the news since his graduation in the 1920s.

Helping the senior citizens were students Shana Miller, Caitlin Geraghty, Juliane Hagberg, Aaron Sachs, Emily Johnson, Dan Thomas and Josh Block.

Surfing the Net were seniors Francis Alfano, William Wilson, Alfred Wollack, Falconer Smith, Bob Friedman, Mina Weiler, Edith Shoenburg and George Nessif.

Hahne hopes to develop a program under which students would work with senior citizens twice a month.

Fair offers health tests

Columbia Lions Club will join Howard County General Hospital in sponsoring a health fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Swansfield Elementary School.

Free screenings for blood pressure, glucose, pulmonary function, sight and hearing will be offered.

Registration is not required.

Beatty Shipley, Lions Club president, said the group is looking for members interested in serving the community.

If you would like to join or want more information on the health fair, call her at 410-531-2826.

Parent workshop set

Parents of first-graders at Bryant Woods Elementary School are invited to take an "Up Close and Personal Look at Reading and Math" at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the school.

Staff members will discuss the reading program and math curriculum, and demonstrate typical math and reading lessons. They will answer questions about working with students at home.

Attending will be staff members Fran Clay, Jen Smith, Carolyn Brunt, Amy Huey, Barbara Trimmer, Linda Hawthorne and Sandy Harrold.

Parents are asked to register by Friday; call the school at 410-313-6859.

Village turns nostalgic

The Village of Wilde Lake will kick off a series of town meetings with an evening of nostalgia at 7: 30 p.m. today at Slayton House.

Program coordinator Jeryl Baker noted that the meeting is scheduled 30 years to the day from Columbia's first town meeting, which was conducted by the late James Rouse.

Films of village events, going back to 1974, will be shown. Dessert and coffee will be served.

Norma Rose, Wilde Lake's Columbia Council representative, will speak about trends and discuss the Columbia Association budget that will be presented in December.

The town meetings, which are sponsored by the Wilde Lake Revitalization Steering Committee, are open to the public.

Information: 410-730-3987.

Artists receive grants

Two west Columbia residents are continuing their arts education with the help of grants awarded by the Howard County Executive's Charity Association.

Classical guitarist Christopher Dunn is working on a bachelor of arts degree at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

Next year, the Faulkner Ridge resident plans to travel to Spain to study with guitarist David Russell.

Clary's Forest resident Amanda Hall is majoring in stage management at Towson University.

Last year, she earned her associate's degree in technical theater from Howard Community College.

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