Troupe shows fancy footwork to students


October 31, 1997|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

RHYTHMIC sounds of clogging echoed through Mount Airy Elementary School yesterday morning as students were introduced to this form of American dance by Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble.

The professional dance group performed "Steps Around the World," in which students learned about the importance of the American melting pot and the unique forms of step dancing, clogging and tap.

The artists performed a hambone dance and then taught the children how to make rhythms with their hands.

Next, the audience stood and practiced basic foot rhythms used in clogging.

Footworks has toured throughout the United States and abroad and presents school programs through Young Audiences of Maryland.

The performance was sponsored by the school's PTA as part of its cultural enrichment program.

Talking books

Reading and discussing books aren't only for the students at Mount Airy Elementary School.

Since last summer, teachers and staff have been meeting in small discussion groups for "Book Talks." The group meets several times a year to share reactions and thoughts on popular fiction, professional books and children's literature.

Committee chairwoman Diane Hughes said that participants are asked to explore a book the same way that the children are asked to do in school.

Members prepare for each talk by reading the selected book and organizing their thoughts around three or four guiding questions. One member leads the discussion of each book.

Hughes, a third-grade teacher at the school, says that it's important as educators to remember that everybody brings a different meaning to a story -- a concept that she's learned from the book talks and is using to help create a more literate classroom.

Phyllis Sonnenleiter, language arts specialist, feels that the book talks have made her a better reader. "I read books at a different level than before," she said.

Sonnenleiter and Hughes agree that the book talks are sending a strong message to students. "We're hoping that the kids become lifelong readers, and that they see their teachers are still reading and learning, just as they are," said Hughes.

House of horrors

You'll never know what scary surprise is waiting to leap out of the dark at the Halloween Haunted House at Firehouse Pub and Grill, 233 S. Main St., Mount Airy.

From 7 p.m. to midnight tonight and tomorrow night, Halloween ghouls and ghosts will take up residence in the lower level, intent on scaring unsuspecting visitors who dare to enter.

Ed Koch, coordinator for the event, promises those who enter the haunted house a frighteningly good time. A cemetery and swamp will be featured, along with a hand and cheese sandwich and a surprise at the bar sure to scare even the bravest visitors.

Sponsored by Mount Airy Players, the haunted house will be staffed by volunteers from local Scouting and service organizations. Mount Airy Players is a local nonprofit community theater group.

Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $3 for children age 12 and younger.

Information: 301-829-3321.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Neighborhood column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 10/31/97

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