Linton Springs Elementary pupils step back in time


January 23, 2001|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FOURTH-GRADERS at Linton Springs Elementary School got a feel for what it was like to be a child during Colonial times in Maryland.

On Friday, pupils and their teachers dressed in Colonial garb, with boys in rolled-up pants and vests, and girls in cotton dresses with aprons and bonnets.

Pam Sherfey, a fourth-grade teacher, said the day provided a hands-on history lesson.

Teachers Sarah Martin, Stacey Phillips, Greta Gilmore and Stephen Speck also participated.

Each teacher took on a different responsibility in his or her classroom, and pupils rotated among rooms throughout the day.

Ruppert discussed items Colonists used for writing, noting that these items were valuable and difficult to obtain. Colonists who couldn't afford to buy these goods had to make their own. Pupils were given the opportunity to write with feathers or quills and homemade ink.

Phillips taught the children how to make horn books, portable books that consist of a piece of paper sealed to a piece of wood with a substance obtained from boiling an animal's horn, an early form of lamination. The book was tied with a string to the child's belt, and contained the alphabet, or a biblical story the child could study.

In Martin's classroom, pupils made chat books, early versions of children's books. These books show an illustration, such as a picture of a cat, with the corresponding word written below. The chat book was an easy way to teach reading.

Sherfey's room was filled with photographs from Williamsburg, Va., depicting people in costume performing chores.

She also displayed artifacts, including handmade dolls, lanterns, candleholders, hand-dipped candles, wooden spoons and toys. Because so many things were handmade, great care was taken to preserve these possessions, according to Sherfey.

Even with the lessons and chores Colonial children had to perform, they had time for fun. Speck's room whirled with activity as pupils played the games Colonial children played in their spare time.

These included pick-up-sticks, marbles, jacks, top-spinning, ring toss, checkers, and pushing a large wooden hoop down the hall with a stick.

In Gilmore's room, pupils had their silhouettes traced, a way to preserve a child's image.

With all the activities and fun, pupils learned a history lesson they won't soon forget.

New assistant principal

Sykesville Middle School has a new assistant principal, Ralph Billings.

As part of Sykesville Middle's administrative staff, Billings will assist Principal Donald Pyles and Assistant Principal Royce Friedlander.

Because of growing enrollment, an assistant principal post became available.

Billings, a Carroll County resident, said he feels fortunate to have been hired. He has been an art teacher at Sykesville Middle for the past 22 years, and said he likes the school and staff very much.

Billings earned his bachelor's degree in art education from what now is Towson University and his master's in administration from Western Maryland College.

In his new post, he intends to focus on issues such as improving education by increasing higher thinking skills and creativity among children. He also looks forward to working closely with teachers, parents, school staff and local businesses in what he sees as an important team effort in education.

Beauty competitions

Carrolltown Center on Liberty Road in Eldersburg is holding a baby contest and beauty pageant at 6 p.m. Feb. 2.

Boys and girls will be judged separately and in three age categories: those younger than 1 year, those age 1, and those ages 2 to 3.

Competitions also are open to girls, young women and women ages 4 to 27.

All participants will receive a trophy. Entry forms are available at the center. Registration will take place one hour before the pageant.

Information: 407-862-3843.

Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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