Pupils to honor King's memory with concert at high school


January 10, 2001|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MUSIC TEACHER Alison Matuskey of Bryant Woods Elementary School wants her pupils to understand the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his ideas. So to celebrate King's birthday, Matuskey has produced a program to honor his memory.

Tomorrow evening, schoolchildren will perform the musical "Let's Keep the Dream Alive" during the school's winter concert in Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School.

"There is tremendous diversity at Bryant Woods," Matuskey said. "I feel that what we try to do as a school is come together and unify. I want this concert to be about bringing people together."

Although the performers in the musical are all fourth- and fifth-graders, Matuskey says, "every child in the school is going to be participating in one way or another."

After a performance by band and string pupils, under the direction of Joanna Carpenter, children from first through third grades will perform songs about King. The lobby of the theater will be decorated with pupils' artwork honoring King's life.

Four schoolchildren -Elizabeth Ault, Marissa Corbett, Camille Freeman and Marina Locks - will dance to King's "I Have a Dream" speech in an original ballet. The ballet was choreographed by Barbara Chaney, a professional dancer who has owned dance schools in Chicago and Detroit. Chaney is also Camille Freeman's grandmother.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Information: 410-313-6859.

`Worth Wilde Work'

Students at Wilde Lake High School have plenty of opportunities to explore career options. The school has a mentoring program, a Cooperative Work Experience program, a career day - and soon hopes to offer students a chance to make money while gaining on-the-job experience in a new program called "Worth Wilde Work" sponsored by Wilde Lake High School's PTSA.

Judy Jenkins, a guidance counselor at the school, said the program was the brainchild of parent Arna Berkowitz.

"She wanted the kids to have more career exploratory experiences and this is what she came up with," Jenkins said. "It enables them to earn money, get work experience and explore careers."

About seven area businesses have expressed interest in hiring Wilde Lake students for part-time jobs, Berkowitz said. In contrast to the Cooperative Work Experience and mentoring programs, students in the Worth Wilde Work program would earn wages for their labor.

According to Jenkins, the mentor program is primarily for juniors and seniors. Students express interest in a particular career and are matched with a mentor. The student and mentor collaborate on a project that results in course credit for the student.

The Cooperative Work Experience program is designed for students who don't plan to attend college. In this two-year program, students concentrate on preparing for employment during the first year. During the second year, they gain experience working on-site for employers. Students earn three credits for participation in this program, but no money.

"Every student could use extra spending money, but it's more about setting and achieving goals," Berkowitz said. "I think career exploration is very important. It helps students try ideas on for size before they have more serious responsibilities."

Jenkins said there are other benefits, too. "The work experience they get in high school helps students narrow down their career options and helps them in selecting the appropriate college, and helps them make wise choices in college majors," Jenkins said.

Berkowitz hopes to get the program running within the next month.

Information: 301-596-3226.

`The Black Hall of Fame'

The Wilde Lake Community Association will sponsor a program, "The Black Hall of Fame," featuring John "Kinderman" Taylor at 1 p.m. Monday in Slayton House Theater.

The performance is for ages 3 and older. Tickets are 2-for-1; the first ticket costs $4 and the second ticket is free.

Information: 410-730-3987.

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