FOR THE PAST four months, Elkridge Elementary School fourth-graders Sierra Cannady and Katlyn Holley have been collecting magazines to bring to the Central Maryland Oncology Center in Columbia.
Every month, they get on the school's public address system and publicize their magazine drive. And they're so successful that the oncology center doesn't have room for all the magazines. Overflow magazines are donated to Howard County General Hospital.
On March 7, the girls were recognized for their efforts with a private tour of the oncology center.
"The girls wanted to help people with cancer," said Amy Colman, their Gifted and Talented program resource teacher. "They knew they were too little to do anything medical, so they wanted to cheer [patients] up."
Each month, the pupils collect hundreds of magazines from other pupils, and update the racks in the waiting room at the oncology center. The girls strive to collect a variety of magazines that appeal to men, women and children. The magazines are for cancer patients, of course, but they are also for family members, Colman said.
"With asking the children to bring in magazines, we're trying to teach them to help other people," Colman said.
Sharon Murrell, a nurse at the oncology center, noted that craft magazines are especially popular among people who are sick or serving as caretakers.
"It's been a joy to see," she said of reaction to the magazine drive.
About 100 pupils from Ilchester Elementary School launched a Baltimore Blast game March 4 by singing the "Star Spangled Banner" at the Baltimore Arena.
The Baltimore Blast is a professional men's soccer team.
This is the second year that Ilchester students have sung for their soccer, said Kevin Wiedel, who, with Kathy Zimdar, teaches music at Ilchester. In exchange for singing, fourth- and fifth-graders in the school chorus attended the game for free, Wiedel said. Their parents received reduced-price tickets.
"We filled up two sections," he said. "The kids had such a great time."
By the way, Baltimore lost to Buffalo, N.Y., Wiedel said.
On Feb. 17, the Station Singers from Hollifield Station Elementary School performed at the Maryland Music Educators Association conference at the Baltimore Convention Center.
The Station Singers, composed of third- , fourth- and fifth-graders chosen by audition, performed at the conference as part of a workshop presented by their teacher, Edie Yeager.
The workshop, titled "Making Vocal Music a Priority in the Elementary School," was designed to focus on the elements of a successful elementary choral program and to raise awareness of the importance of music programs.
Three Hollifield Station Elementary School pupils won the Howard County Council division of the SoMIRAC (State of Maryland International Reading Association) Young Authors' contest.
The talented pupils are Aisha Udochi, who won in the second-grade poetry category; Hillary Andreas, who won in the second-grade short-story category; and Mary Wang, who won in the fourth-grade short-story category. As Howard County winners, they automatically advance to the state competition. They also were invited to the annual Howard County Reading Council Young Authors' ceremony April 25.
Elkridge community meeting
The Greater Elkridge Community Association will meet at 7:30 p.m. March 22 at the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Station on Old Washington Road.
The evening's topic will be proposed changes to Hanover Road and the adjacent area. Representatives from the county and the state Department of Transportation are scheduled to attend.
Information: Nancy McCarthy at 410-796-4494.
Culture vultures sought
Deep Run Elementary School is looking for volunteers to share information about other countries for the school's Cultural Appreciation Festival on April 5.
Volunteers are asked to share information about countries in which they have lived. The school needs story readers, dancers, recipes for native dishes, art activities, games, music, native clothing, videos and slides.
To volunteer: Pat Shifflett or Ben Wade at 410-313-5000.
Wizard on ice
The Columbia Figure Skating Club is getting ready for the March 31 and April 1 presentations of "The Wizard of Oz on Ice."
Most of the skaters are children, and most are from Howard County. Skaters from Ellicott City and Elkridge are Kelly Balkin, Kyle Balkin, Allison Barber, Stephanie Bernard, Megan Burleigh, Laura Burrows, Brendan Carr, Caitlin Carr, Lisa Caton, Laura Dattaro, Sarah Eddy, Sarah Franks, Beth Jackman, Amy Jordan, Alexandra Klinedinst, Erica Koenig, Emily Messing, Tara Messing, Erin Maskell, Laura Maskell, Katie Penyak, Amanda Pleasant, Jessica Rohrer, Russ Rzemien, Leila Shirvan, Sara Shirvan, Alex Stencil, Samantha Tomarchio, Ashley Virtue, Catherine Wisniewski, Catherine Woodcock and Ellen Woodcock.
Two shows will be presented each day, at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., at the Columbia Ice Rink in the Oakland Mills village center. Tickets are $8.50, with no charge for children age 2 and younger.
Tickets and information: Beth Dattaro at 410-799-5356 or June Hackman at 410-750-0237.