Tracking Iditarod from the comfort of the classroom


January 22, 2001|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THIRD-GRADERS at Worthington Elementary School met a sled dog and learned about the famed Iditarod race as part of a program called "Sled Dogs on the Run."

Wednesday's event began several months of Iditarod-connected instruction. Schoolchildren will chart the course of the 1,000-plus-mile race and follow its progress on the Iditarod's Internet site.

Worthington is one of about 600 schools nationwide participating in the program, said Susan Ay, the school's speech pathologist. Schools must submit a plan and have it approved before they can participate.

Approved schools receive official materials for a week - among them a bootie used by a sled dog during the race, a trail map, and books about the race - before passing them on to other schools.

Worthington will continue the project through the duration of the race, which will begin March 3 in Anchorage, Alaska, and can take from eight to 16 days to complete, Ay said. All five third-grade classes will have a center with information and books on the race.

Ay said she applied to bring the program to Worthington because she has a longtime interest in sled dogs.

"I've followed the Iditarod for the 20-something years I've had dogs," she said.

It was Ay's year-old malamute, Sierra Sioux, who visited the school. Sierra Sioux has not raced but she's starting to learn about pulling weight in a harness, Ay said.

About 25 parents attended the event, Ay said. "I didn't expect people to be so interested in it."

Youth dance

The Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department will hold a youth dance for children ages 9 to 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Admission will be $5, and music will be provided by a disc jockey. Information: 410-379-5965 or 410- 796-2028.

The event will be held at the station, at 6275 Old Washington Road.

Winter jazz concert

The Burleigh Manor Middle School jazz bands will perform their winter concert at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the school.

Students must be accompanied by an adult. Information: 410-313- 2507.

Passport to history

Children at Centennial Lane Elementary School are receiving a "Passport to History" as part of a yearlong celebration of Howard County's 150th birthday.

The passport, for pupils in grades three through five, includes information about 12 historic sites and museums in the county. At each location, pupils can have the passport stamped with a specially designed seal.

Apple Ford of Columbia sponsored the passport and will hold a grand-prize drawing July 1. Families may take their passports, with all pages stamped, to Apple Ford for the final stamp and become eligible for the prize.

Information about the Sesquicentennial celebration: 410-313- 7200 or

Reflections winners

Congratulations go out to all of the Centennial Lane Elementary School winners of this year's Reflections Program. The program allows children to express themselves through the arts, and emphasizes the importance of the arts in education.

Schoolchildren going to the county level are Charl du Toit, Kristen Mathe and Russell Barnes for visual arts; Anne Steele for music composition; Elizabeth Brown and Karen Hillsley for photography; Jared Seifter, Brooke Stephens, Ann Yeh and Lauren Thoreson for primary literature; and Sarah Bluher, Lisa Ruohoniemi, Emily Wilson and Will Malone for intermediate literature.

Soon they will receive their trophies and also will have a chance to win at the Howard County level for this PTA-sponsored competition.

The countywide exhibit will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at River Hill High School. All school winners will have their work exhibited there.

Information: 410-313-2800.

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