4th-graders celebrate Maryland Day in grand style


March 26, 1998|By Geri Hastings | Geri Hastings,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

YESTERDAY WAS just another day for most Marylanders, who may not have known it was a holiday. But the fourth-graders of Bushy Park Elementary School celebrated Maryland Day in grand style.

Maryland schools began celebrating Maryland Day in 1903. It was made a state holiday by the General Assembly in 1916.

Teachers chose March 25 as the date for the holiday because it was on March 25, 1634, that the first colonists arrived in Maryland and gave thanks for their safe passage across the Atlantic.

The holiday was planned as a time to remember our history, and Bushy Park's fourth-graders have done that.

The celebration was the high point of four weeks of study in social studies, language arts, mathematics, science, computer-generated research, music, art and physical education.

As part of their study, which brought together many of these disciplines, the students constructed a large-scale physical map of Maryland in the gym.

The map included the physical features of Maryland's three geographical regions -- the coastal plain, the piedmont plateau and the Appalachian mountain region.

And yesterday, with the aid of climbing apparatus and scooters, the students performed in a gym show, moving through the three regions and around bodies of water as they explored Maryland's geography.

The daylong celebration incorporated many of the projects of the previous four weeks.

Students, wearing Maryland T-shirts of their own design, displayed arts and crafts, books they had written about Maryland and travel brochures they had created.

They recited original poems about Maryland and learned about writing from two Maryland authors: Lois P. Nicholson, who wrote "Cal Ripken, Jr.: Quiet Hero," and Mary Downing Hahn, who wrote "The Sara Summer."

The fourth-graders sampled Maryland regional cuisine, participated in a hands-on map activity led by Pat Robeson of the Maryland Geography Alliance, and attended "Maryland Potpourri," a program presented by the Howard County library.

They watched a demonstration by Joe Sebastiani of the Horsehead Wildfowl Center -- a rescue and environmental study center in Graysonville -- about the care given at the center to sick and injured birds of the Chesapeake Bay region.

As the school day ended, students sang the state song -- "Maryland, My Maryland" -- adding an extra verse they had written for the occasion.

The activities would not have taken place without the dedication of fourth-grade teacher Irene Brown, who coordinated the celebration.

Brown thanks the teachers who took part in presenting the interdisciplinary unit on Maryland and in the celebration for their work, guidance and encouragement.

They are fourth-grade teachers Kathy Felipe, Kelly Healey, and Rita Keene; music teachers Susie Kline and Barbara Ford; art teachers Jane Knighton and Denise Venezia; media specialist Diane Pickeral; physical education teacher Gail Zitnay; and Gifted and Talented resource teacher Linda Jensen.

Varsity players volunteer

Elaine Smart -- mother of JT, a Glenelg High School junior varsity basketball player -- recently called to spread the word about a service project involving Glenelg varsity and junior varsity basketball players.

The junior varsity team volunteered at Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore on Jan. 31. The varsity squad volunteered on Feb. 6.

Ronald McDonald House is a temporary home for children with life-threatening illnesses who come to Baltimore for hospital treatment and their families.

The Glenelg players cleaned house and prepared dinner for 39 families at the house.

Varsity coach Jeremy Snyder and junior varsity coach Troy Diehl asked members of the two teams to participate in community service to enrich their team experience.

"Giving back to the community by helping people in need exposes the boys to the realities of life and builds character," Snyder said.

The boys cleaned, scrubbed, painted, refinished furniture and changed batteries in equipment in the 39 Ronald McDonald House bedrooms.

Several of the young men prepared a spaghetti dinner for 50 people, including pasta, meatballs, salad, vegetables, and freshly baked cookies.

Charlene Connor, volunteer coordinator at the Ronald McDonald House, says, "The boys worked very hard and did a great job. The help these boys offered allowed us to make the families staying at the house a bit more comfortable."

Participating members of the varsity team were Alex Blazek, Eric Breland, Adam Hazlinsky, Josh Hough, Davis Huber, Eric Krause, Brandon Robertson, Jeff Starcher and Kendall Steward.

Also participating were team managers Alex Martinez and Robert Williams, coach Snyder and assistant coach Mike Capparillo.

Volunteers from the junior varsity team included Marc Bassett, Bobbi Bonifant, Chris Bowen, Paul Brooks, Mike Darling, Jason Edwards, Mike Henderson, Matt Pontius, Brett Robertson, JT Smart and Jason Weszka.

Team manager Bryan Fish, coach Diehl and assistant coach Greg Kendall also participated.

On ice

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