Professor brings past to life for elementary pupils

Neighbors

April 18, 2000|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GEORGE WASHINGTON paid a visit to Freedom Elementary School last week and awed pupils and teachers alike.

Professor John C. Swartz of Ohio spent several hours educating fifth-graders on our first president's life with anecdotes and little-known facts.

Resplendent in uniform, riding boots, tricorn hat and white powdered wig, Swartz seemed to be Washington. Swartz matches Washington in height and even wears the same boot size.

"I thought he was the real George Washington because his face looked exactly like him, and he even had a wig. I asked him if he dug himself out of the grave," said first-grader Haley Morton.

Haley spoke briefly with Swartz as he visited pupils from other grades during lunch.

The fifth-graders are studying the American Revolution and learned a great deal about Washington through Swartz's visit.

"He told us everything about George Washington -- how he lived and all about his family life," said Tommy Cavey, 11. "Everybody learned something from him."

Swartz has traveled the country the past 14 years portraying Washington. He was invited to the White House last year along with his wife Marilyn, who dressed as Martha Washington.

The school's PTA sponsored Swartz's visit.

Career day

Eighth-graders at Oklahoma Road Middle School had an opportunity to learn about a variety of career possibilities during Career Exploration Day.

Parents and community members volunteered their time as they presented students with information on nearly a dozen different fields. Pupils spent about 20 minutes listening to presentations by the volunteers and then had opportunity to ask questions.

Jackie DelGiorno, 13, is considering a career in physical therapy. She found the information on athletic training and sports rehabilitation interesting.

"I learned a lot about careers that I didn't know about before," said Keith Locklear, 14. "The [private investigator] was interesting. I thought it was pretty cool that you can work your own hours."

During most of the presentations, pupils also learned about the type of education required for many careers and about educational opportunities they were not aware of.

"I didn't know that they did so many different things at Johns Hopkins," said Rob Reahl, 13.

Many came away from Career Exploration Day with a new view.

"It changed my perspective because there was more to some of the jobs than I thought," said Katie Bankard, 14.

The event was organized by members of the PTA and headed by Mike Polk.

Sunrise service

Oakland United Methodist Church will host an Easter sunrise service at 6: 30 at the old boat dock on Liberty Lake off Oakland Mills Road in Eldersburg.

After the service, coffee and doughnuts will be served at the church hall, 5971 Mineral Hill Road.

Information: 410-795-5030.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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