Bollman Bridge pupils, teachers tune out TV for week

NEIGHBORS

May 05, 2000|By Lourdes Sullivan | Lourdes Sullivan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IT'S A GOOD thing pleasant spring weather has finally arrived. It is especially nice for the children at Bollman Bridge Elementary School.

Encouraged by the staff, the children have taken a TV-free week challenge. Fourth-grader Brittany Diehl thinks kids and parents watch too much television. She has been studying this topic in a Type 3 investigation.

A Type 3 investigation is a yearlong, self-directed study. Children choose a problem, find a solution and then present this solution to an audience that can effect change. Brittany's project was approved by David Bond, the school's resource teacher.

In the fall, she conducted a survey of her fellow pupils. Raw results indicated an overuse of televisions: Of the more than 80 pupils polled, more than half said they watched more than two hours of television a day. A similar number of children noted their families owned more than two television sets.

Armed with this information, Brittany elected a TV-free week challenge to encourage classmates to give up television in favor of other pursuits for one week.

"I saw the idea on a TV show," she said.

Getting schoolchildren and staff to support the project took a bit of imagination and a lot of work. She asked the PTA for donations to purchase buttons to support the television blackout. Her mother, Betsy, designed them.

Five hundred buttons were made and distributed to pupils, teachers, bus drivers and crossing guards, "so that everyone would have one," Brittany said.

Brittany and her sister, Hannah, 8, handed out the buttons. Brittany persuaded Pizza Hut and Nestle to support the project by offering small prizes and ice cream for the celebration at the end of the TV-free week. The Nestle connection came from Hannah. Anita Martin, the mother of one of Hannah's former classmates, works for the company and acquired the ice cream donation.

Brittany secured support from a political ally, state Sen. Martin G. Madden. He, too, sponsors a TV-free program, a 10-day period usually in the fall, for the schools in his district. The senator has agreed to hand out certificates of completion at an awards ceremony May 31 at the elementary school.

"Our school is one of the only schools that didn't participate in Senator Madden's fall challenge," Brittany said.

Brittany assembled teacher's aides to encourage teachers to support the TV-free week. She made work sheets that teachers could assign as homework.

The hard work is paying off as the children are coming to the end of the TV-free week. About 150 took the challenge, as well as several teachers and their families.

Bingo success

The Savage Volunteer Fire Company Ladies' Auxiliary reports the basket bingo last month netted the organization more than $1,100.

Wanda Hutson, one of the helpers at the event, credits the success to the organizational efforts of Jeanne Wines, Missy Wines, Patti Kidwell, Joy Grimes and the extra treats the ladies placed in the baskets.

"[The bingo players] like coming to ours because we fill our baskets with stuff," Hutson said. "No one else in the area does this."

Gardening tools were added to one basket, vegetables stocked in another and laundry detergent tucked in a third. The ladies' membership donates the items.

The auxiliary will donate most of the proceeds to help the Savage Volunteer Fire Company maintain equipment.

An established community organization, the auxiliary raises money for the fire company, runs a canteen to serve the firefighters when they are putting out a fire and offers support to its members.

Recently, auxiliary member Hazel Foster passed away. She had been a member for more than 50 years. The auxiliary not only sent flowers, but invited the family to a meal after the funeral services.

"It was the least we could do to memorialize her," Hutson said.

Yard sale

The Laurel Woods PTA, 9250 N. Laurel Road, Laurel, will hold a yard sale and carnival from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow.

Come browse for cheap goodies at this giant yard sale. After purchasing bargains, relax at the carnival.

Face-painting, games and karaoke are planned.

Information: 410-465-6158.

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