Mount View 8th-graders look at impact of domestic violence

Neighbors

May 13, 1999|By Diane B. Mikulis | Diane B. Mikulis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is a subject that is hard to discuss -- especially with children. How do you explain why it happens, and what can be done about it?

By participating in a community service project this winter, more than 150 eighth-graders at Mount View Middle School gained a better understanding of domestic violence.

While they realize they cannot prevent it, the children have taken steps to help those who live with its terrible effects.

The pupils spent six weeks making gifts for families who receive support from the Domestic Violence Center of Howard County.

The center operates a number of shelters where people can come if they must leave their homes.

During free time at school, the children put together "welcome baskets" containing toiletry items, and they made greeting cards that can be used by shelter residents to send greetings on holidays, birthdays and other occasions.

Other items included toys, books, puzzles, art supplies and activity kits for children in the shelter.

The pupils also made place mats, mobiles and murals to decorate the shelter.

Bobby Pencek, a student member of Mount View's site-based management team, presented the gifts to center director Shelley Brown and counselor Beth Blumer during a recent gathering of all eighth-graders at the school.

The team, made up of administrators, teachers, parents and pupils, helps to manage the school.

Bobby spent a lot of time working on the murals, which are made with cut paper and paint and feature popular cartoon characters.

"I hope what we did will help the people and make them more comfortable," he said. "They're going through a really rough time."

Eighth-grader Diane Shaulis also helped with the murals.

She said the artwork would be hung in the basement of one of the center's shelters. The basement is where the children go to play or read.

Diane said her classmates had learned about the people who come to the shelter and that they can be lonely there.

"It feels really good to know that we helped them," she said. "We brightened up their house."

Last fall, Brown visited the pupils to describe the Domestic Violence Center's mission and the support it provides to families in crisis.

The eighth-graders held a brainstorming session and came up with ways they could help the families, especially the children.

"We've been thrilled with their participation and involvement with our agency," Brown said. "It's really a win-win situation because the kids are more aware of domestic violence, and those who have to come here will benefit from their efforts."

The project was coordinated by Mount View staff members Gisela Cooke and Margie McMahon.

Famous game

Bushy Park fifth-grader Kristen Krammer, who lives in Woodbine, has become famous nationwide for a game she invented, called Challenge.

Kristen and some of her friends appeared Sunday on the Disney Channel's new series, "Z Games." They demonstrated how to play Challenge, which is based on a soccer drill.

If you didn't see the program, you have another chance. The show will be repeated at 5: 05 p.m. Saturday.

The newest Eagle Scout

Adrian White of Highland is Boy Scout Troop 737's newest Eagle Scout.

An Eagle Court of Honor was held recently for the 17-year-old junior from River Hill High School.

Life Scout Ted Hartman was master of ceremonies for the evening.

The ceremony was conducted by members of Troop 737, who are also members of the Order of the Arrow.

Key roles were played by Bob Kraeuter, Erik Cannon, Scott Cannon, Adam Corbett, Jon Kraeuter and Chris Black.

For his Eagle project, Adrian worked to beautify the grounds of Hopkins United Methodist Church in Highland.

The project involved landscaping flower beds, pruning oak trees and installing privacy lattice over a propane tank and air-conditioning unit.

He spent 46 hours on the project. His fellow Scouts and friends contributed an additional 84 hours.

Adrian, who plans to attend the Naval Academy and become an aerospace engineer, sees his Eagle Scout designation as a plus.

"I've heard being an Eagle Scout is an advantage in applying to any service academy," he said.

In June, Adrian will participate in the Naval Academy's Summer Seminar for select high school juniors.

For a week, he will live at the academy and experience some of the physical and mental demands placed on midshipmen.

At River Hill, Adrian has been on the honor roll every semester and is a member of the National Honor Society.

He also has lettered in track and received a Scholar Athlete Award.

Dance at Circle D

Western Howard County middle-schoolers are invited to a dance from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. May 21 at the Circle D Club building in Glenwood.

Absolute Sounds disc jockeys will provide music.

The dance is sponsored by Triumph Fitness Center. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at Triumph or by calling 301-854-6646.

Parent volunteers are needed.

Circle D is at 15535 Carrs Mill Road.

Watch that sunshine

Now that spring is here and summer isn't far away, you've probably been going outside to soak up a few rays.

Now is a good time to take a close look at your skin for any abnormal spots that could have been caused by exposure to the sun.

Or better yet, make an appointment for a free skin-cancer screening.

In recognition of National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, Howard County General Hospital will offer free skin cancer screenings from 5 p.m. to 7: 30 p.m. May 27 at its Wellness Center at Inwood Village Center in Glenwood.

Hospital dermatologists will conduct the screenings.

Information or appointments: 410-740-7680, enter 3977.

Pub Date: 5/13/99

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