At Waverly Elementary, words and their writers are honored


May 26, 1998|By Sally Voris | Sally Voris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SMALL GROUPS of adults listen intently to authors with soft voices, reading aloud. As an author turns to a new page, the

book is displayed to the audience for perusal of its illustration.

Each book includes a dedication, text, illustrations and a page about the author.

The authors are first-graders at Waverly Elementary School.

And the event is a school-sponsored "Authors' Tea," held May 21 to honor the young writers.

The atmosphere is hushed and expectant, the clapping restrained and respectful. Parents listen carefully to all of the pupils -- not just to their children.

Many of the youngsters are elegantly dressed: One wears a pressed white shirt with tie; another, a purple chiffon flowered dress. Her hair, which is pulled away from her face, is held with a purple butterfly clip. Another girl wears a soft pink dress with matching hair ribbon.

A small bell rings to signal that it is time for the children to move to another circle.

A total of 75 adults, relatives and teachers attended the tea to honor 61 first-graders.

In the center of the first-grade area, refreshments and flowers graced the table for the reception.

The first-graders created the ideas for the books and illustrated them. First-grade teachers Jean Ho, Christina Evert and team leader Peggy Schaefer helped the children find ideas, generate story lines and create rough drafts and illustrations.

Titles included "Out in Space Exploring," by Tyler Dunn, "Once When I Was Lost," by John Ferrell and "The Elephant" by Kibom Kwon

Parent volunteers Theresa Erdman, Jeanette Willsey, Lauren Wedekind and Lisa Punt set up the tea. They came into classrooms Friday mornings to help the pupils edit and proofread their texts.

Every first-grader created a book. Teachers gave some students extra help, writing their ideas down for them and helping them with illustrations.

Special education teacher Lisa Coleman said that three autistic pupils created books, and two read their stories aloud.

In a fitting end to the first year of school, the event closes a circle: The children read their books to the small circles of students and parents just as their teachers read to them at the end of each day.

The tea has been a tradition since Waverly Elementary opened eight years ago. For the past two years, the school has used kits costing $8 each to create books that are professionally bound.

May pole dancing

At Elkridge Elementary School, 10 fourth-grade girls revived a tradition that had been part of the school's history some 40 years ago: They danced around the May pole.

The dance, originally scheduled for May Day, was presented as part of the school's Education Celebration on Wednesday.

The girls -- some dressed in pastels traditionally associated with spring -- moved around a circle, danced with partners and, in a finale, wove ribbons of blue and white, the school's colors, around the pole.

Kindergarten teacher Jazmin Lawhorn taught the pupils the dance after school.

Dancers included Amanda Beckwith, Lauren Burkowske, Courtney Dockins, Amanda Grow, Amy Guyton, Colleen Harrell, Alexa Havrilko, Kristina Lewis, Melanie McAleese and Colleen Sullivan .

The Education Celebration, coordinated by Amy Colman and Brooke Voelp, the school's gifted-and-talented program teachers, featured Type III projects, which involve independent research, and science fair exhibits. Also featured was an exhibit about Elkridge history.

Voelp worked with Ed Orser, professor of American studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and with two of his students to create materials about Elkridge's history. The materials will be used in the school's social studies curriculum next year.

Volunteers Helen Voris, Jack Bateman and Peggy Ford from the Elk Ridge Heritage Society, helped find artifacts and create the displays.

Paul Bridge, a volunteer at the Ellicott City B & O Railroad Museum, shared Civil War-era photographs of the Thomas Viaduct.

Parent volunteers were also involved.

Cindy Hutcherson found pumpkin seeds for the Native American display.

Suzanne Chadwick sorted through old PTA files, and Pat Elza contributed an aerial map of Elkridge from the 1930s.

Heritage Sunday

Dorsey Emmanuel United Methodist Church invites neighbors, former church members and friends to celebrate Heritage Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 31.

The church, founded in 1850, originally conducted its services in German.

Heritage Sunday will be reminiscent of 19th-century tent meetings.

Visitors are invited to come dressed in authentic turn-of-the-century costumes and to view historical displays in the parsonage.

The program will begin with a Sunday school "Fruit for the Spirit" program. An old-time revival worship service and music festival will take place after lunch.

Stories and crafts for youngsters will be offered. The program closes with an ice cream social.

Information: 410-796-8598.

Basketball and good works

Members of the faculty of Burleigh Manor Middle School challenged the WPGC 95.5 FM disc jockeys to a charity basketball game May 16.

The eighth-grade Town Council of Burleigh Manor Middle School, which sponsored the game, raised more than $800 to donate to the World Wildlife Fund, a charity that helps protect endangered species.

At a fund-raiser May 15 in Catonsville, Ellicott City resident Meghan Kieffer raised more than $3,000 of the $6,000 she pledged to participate in the "GTE Big Ride Across America" -- a benefit for the American Lung Association.

Kieffer will join more than 1,000 riders, starting in Seattle on June 15 and ending in the nation's capital Aug. 1.

She has completed the weeklong "Cycle Across Maryland" five times and has peddled in a major Canadian tour.

Kieffer became interested in a cross-country ride after a friend, Jimmy Hines, "did the ride solo" to visit his brother in San Francisco.

The event will challenge her to ride 3,254 miles in 48 days, spending nights in tent cities set up across the country.

L To pledge a donation to help her qualify, call 410-905-6245.

Pub Date: 5/26/98

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