CATHY SMITH high-stepped, swung her arms wide and marched to the music.
"March it! Swing it! BIG march! All right!" she called out to the 40 or so children in Worthington Elementary School's gymnasium.
Smith, who coordinates community projects for the Howard County YMCA, was leading a children's aerobics class at the school's first Health Fair on Thursday evening.
The children followed her movements -- more or less. They hopped and jumped until the music stopped. Some joined hands and spun in pairs.
"Put your hands on your hearts. What's it doing?" Smith asked them.
"It's beating," they called back in unison.
After the classic disco tune "YMCA," the music stopped again. The children checked their hearts again.
"It's important to work your heart," Smith told them. "REALLY important."
About 10 adults sat on the exercise mats piled along the side of the gym, watching their children work out.
"High-impact aerobics for people who haven't yet blown out their knees," quipped Catonsville resident Alan Gluck, 37. His daughter, Jocelyn, 6, a kindergartner at Worthington, jumped and bounced in the center of a circle.
Meanwhile, in the cafetorium, adults sat behind tables with displays about health topics -- from poison control (stickers read, "Mr. Yuk Means No") to Not My Kid (a drug abuse program) to food allergies.
Linda Repsher and Sheila Keating organized the event. Repsher serves as school health nurse for four schools in the northeast area of the county; Keating is the health assistant at Worthington.
"We thought it might answer questions that people ask us a lot," Repsher said.
She said that questions about food allergies, asthma and head lice are frequently asked.
Repsher hoped the health fair also would bring information about exercise and nutrition to the school's families.
After the children's aerobics program, Gluck and his daughter headed toward the Media Center where information was displayed about stress management for adults.
Meet the presidents
Thirty-four presidents and first ladies marched into the hall at Resurrection-St. Paul School in Ellicott City to the sounds of "Hail to the Chief" on Feb. 25.
They were kicking off the Presidential Wax Museum.
The event, in its 10th year, was organized by fourth-grade teacher Cindy Heck. The wax museum is a live version -- with children in costume instead of wax figures.
Fourth-graders researched their favorite president or first lady. They wrote and memorized a short speech and delivered it in full costume to an audience of proud family members.
Grand prize winner
Congratulations to Divya Venkatachari, an eighth-grader at Elkridge Landing Middle School. Her entry, "That's Udderly Ridiculous," won the Grand Prize Sweepstakes Award at the Math, Science and Technology Fair of Howard County, held at Long Reach High School on March 3.
Fourteen other pupils from the school won awards at the fair.
DECA wins awards
Thirty-three members of the Howard High School chapter of DECA, an association of marketing students, competed in business management, entrepreneurship and marketing events at the Maryland State Leadership Development Conference in Hagerstown on March 2-4.
Team members received a total of 46 awards, and the Howard High School chapter received a third-place trophy for overall performance in the state.
Three students placed first: Clinton Ebadi, Kate Tyson and Alexis Ohanian.
Business teacher Debra Dear, a resident of Ellicott City, advises the club.
Hilary Cole, Alexis Ohanian, Stephanie Wagner and Nicole Ostiguy serve as president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, respectively.
Still-life paintings by Keontea Coke and Emily Phillips, who attend Hollifield Station Elementary School in Ellicott City, are on display at the Miller branch library this month.
Alexandra Summers, Myles Gray, Laura Alcorn and Jamie Wheatley, enrolled at Deep Run Elementary School, also have art on display.
Ellicott City, hurrah!
Congratulations to these Ellicott City residents.
Xinzi Liu, an eighth-grader at Dunloggin Middle School, performed with the Columbia Orchestra on March 5. She is one of two winners of the orchestra's Young Artist Competition.
James McBride, Blair Peck and Ryan Cates, seventh- and eighth-graders at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Ellicott City, placed first, second and third in a speech tournament held at Mount St. Joseph's High School in Catonsville on March 4.
Abe Henderson, son of Larry and Marilyn Henderson, has been promoted to the rank of private at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va.
Porntip Lerdboon, James Richards and Katherine Taylor graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.
Jason Anderson was named to the dean's list at Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y.
David Johnson was named to the dean's list at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.
Katarina Juhaszova, a junior at Mount Hebron High School, has won an all-expense-paid trip to Costa Rica for the summer. She competed as the candidate from the school's chapter of La Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica -- the National Spanish Honor Society. She is one of 12 candidates selected nationwide for this travel award.