Pupils get a chance to learn firsthand about the lives of the disabled

Neighbors

May 04, 1999|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

EXPERIENCE IS A powerful teacher, as about 30 Oklahoma Road Middle School pupils realized last week during a schoolwide Disabilities Awareness Week program.

The program was led by teachers Lois Dolan, Mary Cavaness, Maggie Grossman and Karen Jablon, and assistants Karen Sirko and Jill Johnson, who make up the school's resource team.

Through exercises Wednesday, pupils spent several hours experiencing simulated disabilities to gain insight into what disabled people experience daily.

Students experienced simulated disabilities such as blindness, inability to speak, conditions requiring the use of a wheelchair, and the inability to use their dominant hand.

They were assisted during the day by members of the Partners Club, a group of students who regularly assist the school's disabled students. The students followed their usual school schedule and did their best to cope with the disabling condition assigned to them.

Seventh-grader Jenny Geilfuss was frustrated by not being able to use her hand for writing assignments and other functions. Eighth-grader Myles Kitchen described not being able to see as "scary because you don't know how you're going to get around."

A bus-load of students and teachers traveled to Westminster High School Thursday to participate as "fans" of the approximately 170 athletes who competed in the Special Olympics Carroll County Spring Area Games.

"I enjoyed it," said seventh-grader Bryan Johnson. "It was fun to watch the kids participate."

Under the direction of teacher Frank Tippett, Oklahoma Road's Extended Enrichment students made a videotape of the week's programs and broadcast it throughout the school Friday afternoon to conclude the program.

Town cleanup

The 1999 Junior Jamboree had a decidedly community atmosphere Saturday morning as about 150 Girl Scouts from 10 troops tackled spring cleanup jobs around Sykesville.

The third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, members of Girl Scout Community 65, could be seen sweeping, collecting debris, planting flowers and washing church windows as they aimed to meet the goal of the Jamboree's theme of "Making the World a Better Place."

A catered picnic in nearby Cooper Park that included songs and games was the girls' reward for a job well done.

SonShine auction

A group of enthusiastic singers at Springfield Presbyterian Church has been invited to perform in Texas this year and is determined to get there.

The SonShine Singers hope to participate in an international festival of the Choristers Guild in Dallas in September. The guild, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is an ecumenical organization that promotes the spiritual growth of children through music.

To help pay for the trip, the singers will sponsor a live auction at 7 p.m. Saturday at the church, on Spout Hill Road in Sykesville.

Area businesses have been generous in donating items for the auction.

Several dozen various items will be offered, including gift certificates to restaurants and stores; theater, museum, symphony and sporting event tickets; ballroom dancing lessons; horseback riding; math tutoring; hotel accommodations; a patio table and chairs from a local merchant; home-baked goods; and and dinners.

The singers will also sell desserts and gourmet coffees and teas.

Information: Linda Caviglia, 410-781-4290.

Herb Festival

The arrival of spring will be heralded at Piney Run Park Saturday as the seventh Herb Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year's festival will feature a potpourri of highlights from the past six events, including faeries, butterflies in the garden and Victoriana.

Potted herbs, dried herbs, herbal vinegars and butters will be sold, along with dried wreaths, soaps, books, garden pottery and statuary. A traditional Maypole dance will take place at 2 p.m.

There is no admission fee for the festival, but park entrance fees will apply.

Information: 410-795-6043.

Mental health walk

In recognition of Mental Health Month, Springfield Hospital Center will hold its second Walk for Your Mental Health Friday. The event aims to promote good mental health and to combat the stigma associated with mental illness. The walk drew more than 100 participants last year.

Participants are invited to walk between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on paths of varying lengths throughout the hospital complex. Several Springfield officials will bring greetings beginning at 10 a.m. at the Maus Pavilion.

Refreshments, entertainment and mental health information will be available.

Call Springfield at 410-795-2100, Ext. 3693.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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