Clemens Crossing pupils learn about and celebrate the Earth


April 28, 1999|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

LAST WEEK, students and staff at Clemens Crossing Elementary School celebrated Earth Day with an elaborate event.

Representatives from a variety of organizations set up 47 learning stations with experiments and displays on the school grounds. Each station included an ecological activity, a team-building exercise, an art activity or demonstrations relating to Earth Day.

The event was planned by Clemens Crossing media assistant Gloria Konick.

"These children will be the keepers of the Earth," Konick said. "We hope they'll learn to do a better job of taking care of the environment than we adults have."

Konick worked for months to coordinate the event with the help of Assistant Principal Tony Yount and parents Cindy Ochs, Judy Bandier and Eileen Jones.

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. It was conceived as a time to celebrate our unity with each other and Earth, and to remind us of our responsibility to preserve and improve the environment and the quality of life on Earth.

Clemens Crossing music teachers Alison Matuskey and Alice Zehrbach taught the children a rap song about recycling. Media specialist Tom Brzezinski -- dressed as "Farmer B" in a straw hat, black curly wig and overalls -- read stories with an environmental theme.

Smokey Bear made an appearance, telling the kids what to do if they spot a forest fire and how to prevent fires.

Cindy Bell, a farmer and teacher, brought two 6-week-old lambs from her 120-acre farm in Cooksville. She answered questions about farming and explained what farmers can do to protect the environment.

Fifth-grader Jeramie Tover said, "I haven't seen a lamb in real life before. They're very cute. I'm delighted."

One particularly interesting station had an egg-candling booth.

Margaret Benbow and James Johnson brought their equipment to demonstrate egg-grading and explained how to tell whether eggs are fresh.

Jeff May, a representative of La Farge, a mining company, brought rock samples and discussed how minerals and rocks are useful in everyday life.

He showed samples of the type of rock used to build monuments in Washington.

Fourth-grader Blair Burnett said, "I was surprised that the chalk sample was so light."

Ten-year-old Beth Wilson enjoyed petting Sassy, a horse brought by members of the Volunteer Mounted State Park Patrol. "I think what they do is interesting," Beth said. "They told us that in one park in Maryland, there's a tree that's 35 feet wide."

Cheryl Simmons, a representative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, helped students make a profile, or layering, of the three kinds of soil -- bedrock, subsoil and topsoil -- in a glass tube.

Fourth-grader Nick Krankoski said the soil project was his favorite part of the Earth Day Celebration.

The Clemens Crossing Earth Day celebration lasted all day and ended with a schoolwide assembly where the events of the day were discussed and cupcakes were served.

Walk for stars

The PTA at Cedar Lane School is sponsoring a noncompetitive 5-kilometer run-walk fund-raiser Saturday at Centennial Park.

Proceeds from Walk for Our Stars will be used to purchase equipment to help special-needs students stand and walk. The school serves children with moderate to severe disabilities.

Walk for Our Stars refers to the children at the school. Last year's event raised more than $5,000.

PTA President Amanda Cheong said, "This is a fun event for everyone, whether they use a wheelchair, walk or run."

Participants pay $15 each to join in the fun. Families of up to four pay $35. Everyone receives a T-shirt.

Cedar Lane Principal Nicholas Girardi expects about 200 people to participate.

Girardi said the school has 97 students. It relies on support from corporate sponsors and the community to make the event successful.

The event will go on rain or shine. Register at the main park entrance, off Route 108, on the day of the event.

Information: 410-313-6977.

Yarn sale

If you have a passion for needlework, plan to attend the one-day sale of yarns at the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource and Image Center Saturday.

Claudia Mayer, the late wife of Dr. William Mayer of Columbia, who died of breast cancer in 1996. The couple spent many years traveling with family and friends, and Claudia Mayer collected yarns in every city and country they visited.

Claudia's best friend, Marjorie Adams, said, "For every round of golf her husband played, Claudia bought a bag of yarn."

Adams and Mayer owned Up in Stitches, a needlework shop in Hickory Ridge, from 1979 to 1985.

"Claudia liked unusual things like hand-spun yarn and novelty yarns like wool with velvet pieces," Adams said. "Claudia's collection will be of interest to weavers, knitters and people who craft."

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