Cooperative spirit makes school project a success


December 23, 1997|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

O LITTLE TOWN of Eldersburg could very well be the name of a holiday project at Oklahoma Road Middle School.

Since early this month, students have spent time each day creating a detailed train garden display featuring many Eldersburg landmarks.

The project has been dubbed Winter Wonderland and is the result of the cooperative work of more than 80 students who are members of the Partners Club.

This club provides an opportunity for students of resource teacher Lois Dolan to meet on a regular basis and work on this holiday project together.

Chris Anderson, Tom Hardester, Mike Moody and Eric Tomaschewski were among the students who worked daily to create many of the buildings proudly highlighted on the display.

"I was excited to see the cooperative work being done among the students," said Dolan. "I was so impressed with how supportive they were of one another."

The cooperative spirit of the project appealed to Ryan Jones, age 12. "Me and Tom worked on one of the houses together. I also worked on the parking lot scene of Carrolltown Center."

Using simple materials such as construction paper, milk cartons, paint and glue, the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students created the detailed replica of their hometown, highlighting such familiar landmarks as Carrolltowne, Freedom and Piney Ridge elementary schools, their own Oklahoma Road Middle School and Liberty High School, complete with a soccer game in progress on the athletic field.

"We made the school from a pizza box and someone in our group brought in the people to use on the field," said Jenny Yost, age 12.

Numerous area businesses are depicted, including Carrolltown Center, a grocery store, banks, restaurants, SuperSports Arena and the new South Carroll Medical Center. The Liberty Reservoir and its two bridges are faithfully replicated, as are many parking lots and roadways.

The Sykesville-Freedom District Volunteer Fire Department donated official patches used on the firehouse display. Members of the Sykesville Police Department added a realistic touch with photos of every department member.

Students working on the Piney Run Park section went to great lengths to create a "lake" from a box with a liner. They plan to have six goldfish swimming in their lake. "I liked having fun making the stuff for Piney Run Park," said Brandon Rawlings, age 11.

The train chugging through the display is the contribution of school Principal Larry Barnes, who collects American Flyer trains. Barnes was pleased with the results of the students' efforts. "This gave Mrs. Dolan's students a chance to organize the community," he said.

The public is invited to view the display at Oklahoma Road Middle School during school hours today. Instrumental band students will be providing holiday music throughout the day at the display found in Room 323.

Information: 410-751-3600.

Super volunteer

The Nature Center at Piney Run Park recently named Jeff Christ as its volunteer of the quarter.

Jeff, a 16-year-old junior at Liberty High School, was recognized for the many hours he has dedicated to the Nature Center since July.

Jeff was in need of student service hours when he first began volunteering at the Nature Center. Spending four to eight hours a week there, he quickly racked up the necessary hours, but found that he liked volunteering at the park.

"I wanted to do something that was kind of fun," said Jeff. "I found that I like working with the animals and learning about them."

Jeff especially liked taking care of the birds of prey kept outside behind the Nature Center. He gained a lot of experience handling animals, amphibians and reptiles during the Critter Feeding Times. Jeff also donated his time lending a hand with the Apple Festival and the Halloween celebrations held for youngsters.

"Jeff was always very willing to help us out with whatever needed to be done," said Deanna Hofmann, a naturalist at Piney Run.

Pub Date: 12/23/97

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