Club gives Northfield pupils a hand in developing green thumbs


March 27, 2000|By Sally Voris | Sally Voris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THIRTY PUPILS at Northfield Elementary School participate in a cycle as old as the seasons: They weed, mulch, prune and plant seeds as members of the school's Young Gardener's Club.

They maintain the perennial gardens that line the walkway to the school. They start seedlings in the school's greenhouse. Each week, teams water plants throughout the school and place fresh flower arrangements in the school lobby.

The young gardeners also help decorate Historic Waverly for its Annual Candlelight Tour in December.

The group is sponsored by the Dorsey Hall Garden Club. Each year the garden club, an educational partner with Northfield Elementary School, places an advertisement in the school's newsletter inviting pupils to join the club.

Children fill out a simple application and send in $10. This year, the club is full, with 30 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders. They meet once a month from October to May.

Garden Club members Ellen DeCaro, Ellen Millhollon, Smriti Rhodes, Kathy McCartney, Barbara White, Carolyn Kuchinski, Kitty Ingram, Judy Habib, Jane Glass and President Karen Griffith take turns teaching the kids.

DeCaro oversees the young gardeners, including her sons, Christopher, 11, and Matthew, 8. She grew up in New Jersey and has been involved in the Dorsey Hall Club for 12 years.

"If you love to garden, you garden anywhere. We just educate people about gardening," she said.

Last year, the Northfield Elementary School's Young Gardener's Club received an award from the Maryland Environmental Trust for its "Keep Maryland Beautiful Competition."

Tomorrow, the club will be recognized by the Federated Garden Club of Maryland at its annual meeting in Baltimore. Thirteen pupils, their parents, sponsors and school Principal Arlene Mindus will attend the luncheon and exhibit their work. The young gardeners are Anna Lawson, Alona Lawson, Christopher DeCaro, Matthew DeCaro, Kelly McCartney, James David, David Myers, Alyse Carter, Bailey Kramer, Kara Davis, Lauren Englehart, Lucy Qian and Rachael Lisman.

Club members Christopher DeCaro and Kelly McCartney, 11, will speak on what it means to be a young gardener.

Reaching out

Students at Resurrection-St. Paul School in Ellicott City spoke live to students in Namibia, Africa, on March 8. The school is one of only 43 across the country chosen to participate in this project. The project was organized so the students could communicate with and learn from their peers at their sister school in Namibia.

Last fall, Elkridge resident Jeff Hickinbotham went to Antarctica to work on a project for the Applied Physics Lab. His son Nathan's earth science teacher, Tracy Bauer, asked Hickinbotham if he would correspond with pupils at Elkridge Landing Middle School.

As they studied Antarctica, they e-mailed questions about his life near the South Pole. He wrote back about global and mundane concerns. They were surprised that everyone was limited to three two-minute showers per week and that the continent has been declared a gun-free area.


Howard High senior Leif Romsaas recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Leif started as a Tiger Cub in 1988 while in first grade at Phelps Luck Elementary School.

Last fall, Leif led several Boy Scouts and adult Scout leaders in the construction of a nature and meditation trail in the woods of the Franciscan Friars Monastery at Camp Cupertin in western Howard County.

The team cleared brush, constructed a trail surface, marked it with small logs and designed and built several natural log bridges over the streams. Leif is assistant Scoutmaster and merit badge counselor for Troop 759, which meets at the Ellicott City Armory.

Greg Eden, a seventh-grader at Burleigh Manor Middle School, entered the 18th annual Duracell/National Science Teachers Association Invention Challenge. The annual challenge is to invent and build an original, creative, battery-powered device.

Greg created an invention that teaches people to become faster sight-readers of musical notation. Greg will receive a $10,000 savings bond and be honored at a banquet at the National Science Teachers Association Convention in Orlando, Fla., next month.

Sondra Helbstrom, a senior at Mount Hebron High School, was recently recognized for Best Environmental Science High School Project in the 2000 Maryland Science and Technology Fair held this month.

Deep Run fourth-graders Janae Oliver, Beth Zartman, Colton Mules and Carissa Walsh have ceramic candle holders on display at Gallery One at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City this month.

Ellicott City resident Wayne Slifker, 19, earned a gold medal as a Special Olympics athlete in the slalom and a bronze medal in the giant slalom in the World Pre-Games in Alaska. Wayne skis and plays volleyball, basketball, golf and softball.

Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville recently honored outstanding members of its winter sports teams. Among those receiving awards were Sophia Kuziel, Julie Baronas and Kristen Mergenthaler of Ellicott City and Emily Miller of Elkridge.

Kristin Duck, a student and vice president of student government at St. Augustine School in Elkridge, has received a scholarship from the Mount de Sales Academy for the 2000-2001 academic year. Kristin is the daughter of James and Joanne Duck of Hanover.

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