Teacher brings pupils life lessons from her trek


July 04, 1999|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ANNE ARUNDEL County teachers will do all they can to help their students learn -- even if it means hiking into the Grand Canyon with a 25-pound pack in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.

Park Elementary music teacher Tasha Maglocci spent 10 days visiting the Supai Indian Reservation in Arizona, teaching at the Supai School and learning about Native American life to make a contribution to Park's cultural arts program. The program helps students learn about other pupils through study of the arts.

Last year, the program focused on African culture. This year, the focus was Native American culture, and activities included study with Keith Colson from Baltimore Native American Center, along with entho-musicologist Tim Gregory. Silver Otter Enterprises constructed a life-size tepee on school grounds for the students to see.

The school's Cultural Arts Team received grants totaling $5,000 from the Baltimore Community Foundation's Smart Partnerships Program, the Cultural Arts Foundation of Anne Arundel County, the Washington Post and Park's PTA to fund the program.

On her journey, Maglocci hiked nine miles from the southern rim of the Grand Canyon to the Supai village at the base, then two miles farther to her campsite. During her stay, she hiked more than 50 miles.

The Supai village is the only Native American reservation in the Canyon. It's remote: Mail is brought in by mule twice a week and supplies are brought in by helicopter, Maglocci said.

The trip to the village began at 4 a.m. so that most of the hiking could be completed before the day became too hot. "It reached 100 by 11 a.m.," she said. "We had to each carry a gallon of water to get us to each water stop," which were nine miles apart.

At the reservation, she met with Roland Manakaja, a member of the tribal council, to learn about the lives of the people and the hardships they encounter. She then met with the teachers at the Supai School and taught music lessons to the students there.

"They were very shy," Maglocci said. "English is a second language to the younger students, and I had to work with an interpreter. The older students are fluent in English. I took my flute. Most had never even seen a flute before."

Maglocci brought back baskets and other examples of Native American art that have become part of Park Elementary's collection, along with slides to use as visual aids.

More than that, she brought back a wealth of knowledge that was shared with Park's student body. Maglocci feels that the program is important because it prepares the pupils for life as adults. "When the students get into the work force, and in their life, they will encounter people from other backgrounds. By understanding the culture and where people are coming from, it will help them be able to get along and live peacefully."

She hopes the Park program will be used as a model for other schools.

"The teachers get excited, and students get caught up. It's electric," Maglocci said.

Though Maglocci will be leaving Park for Solley Elementary next year, she has taken steps to ensure that the cultural arts program continues and hopes to develop a similar program at Solley.

"It will take time to build," she said. "We were extremely lucky at Park. The staff is so supportive and caring. They make this work."

Basketball clinic

Future stars of the NBA and WNBA are welcome to enroll in a free basketball clinic this week at the Townsend Avenue Baptist Church.

Two daily sessions will be held. Boys and girls in kindergarten to grade four will attend from 10 a.m. to noon. Those in grades five to eight will attend from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The instructor will be the church's youth pastor, the Rev. Mike Pollack. Pollack, who has played NCAA Division III basketball, is an experienced high school basketball coach and has conducted summer basketball clinics.

He will teach the fundamentals of shooting, passing and dribbling. Competitions on dribble tag, hot shot, knockout, 3 on 3 and 5 on 5 will be held.

The church is at Townsend Avenue and Fifth Street.

Information: 410-355-0347.

Free movie

The July movie sponsored by Harbor Hospital's Advantage Program -- a program anyone can join and get discount health services -- is "Angels in the Outfield," starring Danny Glover.

The Advantage Program offers a free movie every month as well as free information seminars and blood-pressure screenings. Other screenings, such as those for cholesterol, are offered at a discount.

"Angels" will be shown at 1 p.m. Friday at the Life Resource Center. Refreshments will be provided, and admission is free. To register for the movie, or for information on the Advantage Program: 410-354-9655.

Church bingo

St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church will hold its monthly Bingo Party tomorrow in the church hall. Doors will open at 6: 15 p.m. Early-bird games will begin at 7: 15 p.m., regular games at 7: 30 p.m.

Refreshments will be served before the games and during intermission. The church is at 4708 Prudence St. Information: 410-355-5740.

Library activities

Puppeteer Carolyn Koerber will present "The Talking Stone" for preschoolers to 3-year-olds at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Brooklyn Park library.

The free presentation will include two Native American stories and show children how simple objects can come to life through movement and sound. Registration is not required, but seating is limited. The library is at 1 E. 11th Ave. Information: 410-222-6260.

The National Aquarium's Chesapeake Bay Program will make a stop at 1 p.m. Wednesdayat the Brooklyn branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The library is at 300 E. Patapsco Ave. Information: 410-396-1120.

Summer concert

Townsend Avenue Baptist Church will sponsor a concert of contemporary Christian music by the youth ministry's Wow Praise Band at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Admission is free, and all faiths are welcome. The church is at Townsend Avenue and Fifth Street. Information: 410-355-0347.

Pub Date: 7/04/99

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