12-year-old poet published in a national magazine


November 18, 1999|By Diane B. Mikulis | Diane B. Mikulis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD Ben Pick has become a nationally known poet. His poem, "A 10-K Race," appears in this month's issue of Highlights for Children.

"I feel pretty good about it," Ben said. "I've shown it to a couple of friends, and it's slowly getting around."

The Highland resident wrote his poem last year as a homework assignment, while he was a sixth-grader at Clarksville Middle School. He had run in the Turkey Chase -- a 10-kilometer race in Bethesda -- with his brother Dan. Ben captured his impressions of the race in the poem.

FOR THE RECORD - In an article in yesterday's Howard County edition of The Sun, the date for the monthly breakfast held by the Fifth District Volunteer Fire Department in Clarksville was incorrect. The all-you-can-eat breakfast is Sunday, from 8 a.m. to noon in Ten Oaks Ballroom. Information: 410-313-7215.
The Sun regrets the error.

His mother, Sarah, thought the poem was good, so she sent it to Highlights. Ben and his family were pleased when the magazine notified them that the poem would be published.

So far, Ben has competed in only in the Turkey Chase 10K.

"I've run in a couple of small school races, and I plan to go back again this year," he said.

This year's Turkey Trot will be held Thanksgiving Day.

Ben also participates in soccer and wrestling and plays the trumpet. He attends Lime Kiln Middle School.

Highlights for Children claims a circulation of almost 3 million youngsters, ranging in age from 2 to 12.

Here's Ben's poem (with permission from the magazine):

A 10-K Race footsteps as automatic as breathing

as monotonous as a water faucet

beginning like a herd of elephants

everything is like it's in slow motion

hills like mountains

cold as dry ice

wet as the ocean

hungry as a guinea pig

thirsty as a dog

steady as an ox

feet like heavy weights

mile markers like four-leaf clovers

as if I am surrounded by cheerleaders

like I am asleep

end like winning the lottery!

Pajamas at school

West Friendship Elementary School children usually are greeted by Principal Sandra McAmis and Assistant Principal Barbara White each morning. But one day last month, McAmis and White were wearing their pajamas.

No, they hadn't overslept. They were following through on their end of a deal. McAmis and White had challenged students to raise more money than last year in the PTA's Sally Foster gift-wrap sale.

If last year's total -- $15,000 raised by 234 students -- was surpassed, McAmis and White promised to wear their pajamas to school.

The challenge worked. More than $18,400 worth of gift wrap and chocolates was sold by 267 children -- of a total of 308 registered at the school.

Ann Johnson's morning kindergarten class had the highest sales, and Christine Perry's first-grade class had the highest participation.

The top-selling children were Leah Vagnoni, Robert and Doug Miller, Taylor and Zachary Zaruba, Brittany Sink and Silva Yousefian.

Parents Linda Sink and Carrie Vagnoni coordinated the fund-raiser.

Business leaders of future

The Future Business Leaders of America's River Hill High School chapter has held its first induction ceremony. Eighty-four students were inducted.

River Hill has the only FBLA chapter in Maryland.

The officers are Puneet Gupta, president; Shanna Zell, vice president; Jonathan Pund, treasurer; and Anna Lucas, secretary.

Faculty advisers are Teresa Waters and Lorenne Cannella.

Group members build leadership skills by managing projects and attending leadership conferences. They also learn about the importance of business in the community, and participate in service projects and fund-raisers.

The River Hill members are looking into developing partnerships with local businesses and are conducting a gift drive for residents of the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center in Columbia.

The organization is open to any student with an interest in business.

Country breakfast

The Fifth District Volunteer Fire Department in Clarksville will hold its monthly country breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in Ten Oaks Ballroom.

The cost is $5 for adults; $3 for children to age 10. Children to age 4 eat free.

The all-you-can-eat menu includes pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, scrapple and home fries.

Proceeds will go to purchase emergency equipment.

Next month's breakfast will be replaced by an all-you-can-eat pizza lunch with Santa Claus from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Clarksville Fire Station.

The cost will be the same as for breakfast.

Information: 410-313-7215.

Talkin' turkey

Alumni of Glenelg Country School are invited to the "Talkin' Turkey" luncheon at 12: 30 p.m. Wednesday.

Headmaster Ryland O. Chapman and members of the faculty and staff are looking forward to hearing about alumni experiences in college and work.

The gathering will be held in Moxley Library after the school's Thanksgiving program, which features children from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade in performances on a Thanksgiving theme.

Information: Rosemary Campbell, 410-531-7337.


Melissa Durant of Glenwood has received the Loughran Regents Scholarship from the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.

A junior at Towson University, Durant is pursuing a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. She received her associate's degree in life sciences with a 4.0 grade point average from Howard Community College last spring.

The Regents Scholars program was established to recognize outstanding Maryland community college graduates transferring into the University of Maryland system. Loughran Regents is a two-year full scholarship.

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