Have some extra time? Try tutoring youngsters

November 18, 1998|By GREGORY KANE

IT'S TIME again to salute those who need saluting and to pillory those who deserve it. In other words, it's time for another kudos and raspberries column.

Kudos to the Johns Hopkins University Tutorial Project, which has been in operation since Eisenhower was president. On Thursday, staffers will celebrate the tutorial project's 40th anniversary in the Sherwood Room of the Homewood campus' Levering Hall. The featured speaker will be Chester Wickwire, the retired JHU chaplain who started the program.

I first met Wickwire in the summer of 1968 when I was in an Upward Bound program at the university. By the time the school year had started and I had returned to Baltimore City College for what would be my senior year, I was in the tutorial project. My Saturday mornings were spent either hiking out or riding the bus to the JHU campus to tutor some little tyke in reading. I even remember my tutee's name, an affable little fellow named Phillip Neal who hailed from the Reservoir Hill section of Baltimore.

I soon learned what the late Samuel Banks -- then a history teacher at City -- would repeat later: that teachers (tutors, in my case) often learn as much from students as students learn from teachers. The tutorial project inspired me to continue mentoring children when I went off to college. The tutoring bug has stayed with me throughout the years. I highly recommend it. The Saturday morning sessions allowed me to do something constructive and kept me from much mischief. The scores of young black men hanging on the streets of inner city Baltimore would do well to invest their time with some little children. Excuses have been made, from the left/liberal wing of the political spectrum, that these young men have nothing to do.

The hell they don't.

Kudos to the football players from City and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, who on Nov. 7 played yet another excellent, well-fought, down-to-the wire game. Will these guys never quit? Poly's Eddie Henry catches a touchdown pass from Timmy Frazier in the last 35 seconds to squeak by City 13-12.

That's becoming old hat for this series. Two years ago, City won by scoring the last 20 points of the game and a touchdown with three seconds left to win 26-20. In the 1993 game, it was Poly winning with a touchdown in the final seconds.

Congratulations to first-year Poly head coach John Hammond and the Engineers on the victory. A note to City coach George Petrides and his players who return in 1999: I don't want to make these same congratulations next year. Get my meaning?

Since City ended a 17-year winless drought in the series by taking the 1987 game, these teams have squared off in no fewer than five games that could be candidates for the best ever played. It's a pity only 6,000 showed up to watch the latest throwdown, which brings me to my next category.

Razzes to all of us Balti-morons who couldn't find the time to go to the game, a cherished high school rivalry that is the third

oldest in the country. If we can shell out 60 bucks to see the Ravens stink out the stadium-to-be-named later, we can pony up the pittance it cost to see this game. The City-Poly game (the contest's official title, the puddin'-headed policy of this paper's sports editors who insist it's the Poly-City game notwithstanding) used to draw 30,000 to 35,000 people. The game might never get those numbers again, but 15,000 to 20,000 would be nice.

Kudos to the law enforcement officers, corrections officers, parole and probation officers and juvenile justice officials who gathered yesterday at the Oakland mansion in Columbia. Attending the Leadership Challenge Program, they discussed a number of topics -- the evolving image of law enforcement in the media, the image of law enforcement in entertainment and whether news organizations exploit the public's fear of crime for profits and ratings -- with several media muckety-mucks in attendance.

The goal was to foster more amiable relations with the news media, the better to keep us informed about public safety issues. And while we're on the subject of the media keeping the public informed:

Razzes to local television news station Fox 45 for its coverage of Tyrone Gilliam's execution. Fox interviewed no fewer than three death penalty opponents outside the Supermax prison who pleaded the case for Gilliam. It's hard to believe the station couldn't find even one death penalty proponent to interview.

Pub Date: 11/18/98

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