'I Care Cat' commends good behavior at William Winchester


October 12, 1998|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GOOD BEHAVIOR rarely goes unnoticed at William Winchester Elementary School, thanks to I Care Cat.

This observant character scouts the school grounds for people who are caring, accountable, respectful and honest, or as everyone in the school explains, "people of integrity."

When a pupil tells the truth, shares only good news about others, or strives to be a good listener, I Care Cat often notices and gives out a note of praise and an invitation to talk during the morning announcements.

The cat opens announcements with a "meow," and often ends them with a song, a poem or a rap about integrity.

I Care Cat's popularity at William Winchester rivals that of Barney and Arthur. Pupils love to turn in lost money or pick up books dropped in the hall to earn I Care Cat's praise and a moment of morning announcement glory.

Sometimes as many as six pupils are recognized each day, though the average is two or three pupils, said Celia Bechtel, a guidance counselor who worked with teachers to make I Care Cat "more hip" over the past year.

"The concepts for this program were in place for years. Now it has become a project for the whole school, and each year we refine it," said Bechtel, who coordinates the efforts.

"I like the fact that I Care Cat has universal expectations for the children," Bechtel added. "Children can hear the same things about accountability and responsibility in the community, like at the YMCA and at home."

During the first months of school, William Winchester pupils have been recognized by I Care Cat for: helping teachers put away supplies, helping a friend who fell down, carrying a book bag for a smaller child, helping classmates understand homework.

On Nov. 6, the school is holding an I Care Cat program featuring songs and skits about integrity. "Alice in Willieland" will address accountability. "The Grinch Who Stole Thanksgiving" will highlight honesty, and linking each skit will be rap songs and poems composed by Bechtel and her team of teachers.

Pupils recognized by I Care Cat recently include: Arthur Harrison, Matt Novell, Eric Bennett, Beth Schroeder, Scott Dieter, Andrew Cupp, Ty Brown and Adam Purpora.

Spiritual leader workshop

Sunday school teachers, small group leaders, elders, deacons and anyone else who serves in leadership roles in any church are invited to attend a workshop on spiritual leadership from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Westminster Senior Center.

Lynn Anderson, leader of Hope Network Ministry and an author, will lead the workshop, and a preaching series called "In Search of Wonder." The workshop runs from 8: 30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday at Westminster Church of Christ at 67 Madison St.

"Dr. Anderson is one of the key individuals who has helped spark a worship renewal movement that is having a great impact among Churches of Christ," said Gary Pearson, minister of Church of Christ of Westminster. "Anyone's worship life will be enriched by hearing his messages."

Information: 410-848-1064.

Rain doesn't thwart band

It might have been cold and rainy during the Tournament of Bands at Westminster High School Oct. 3, but the Westminster Owls pulled off a season-high score of 90.75.

As sponsors of the tournament, the band could not compete, although its score topped the 13 other scores from bands across Maryland and Pennsylvania, including North Hagerstown, 80.5; Quince Orchard, 76.25; and Calvert Hall, 75.55.

With a score of 89.45, Liberty High School earned Best Band in Show.

"Since we were hosting the tournament, we couldn't win first place, but we would have had the first-place trophy otherwise," said Kaysi Reeder, senior color guard member.

"The flags were wet, heavy and slippery, but otherwise the competition went well," Kaysi added. "We had a lot of fun."

"Each of these strong competitions are a result of 300 to 400 hours of practice, starting in the summer," said Bill Reeder, the school's band liaison. "The kids strive for perfection. This year they could be in the top five for bands in the eastern United States. They are that good."

The Westminster Owls travel to Severna Park on Saturday and to Towson University on Oct. 24 for the Maryland State Marching Band Championships.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 10/12/98

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