With her vision of fair housing, pupil shares statewide award

NEIGHBORS

April 20, 2001|By Lourdes Sullivan | Lourdes Sullivan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HAVING SURVIVED the Ides of April - the taxman cometh - we can turn our attention to more enjoyable matters.

Chief among them is recognizing the achievements of those around us - such as those of Fulton Elementary School fourth-grader Sarah DeLuca.

She was recently selected as one of 12 winners across the state of the Maryland Association of Realtors' Fair Housing Poster Contest, and traveled to Annapolis on Tuesday to receive her plaque.

"My art teacher, Mr. [Jeff] Dombek, told our class that [the contest] was going on. I didn't think I was going to win because there was this boy next to me who drew a really good picture. I was shocked that I actually won," Sarah said.

She didn't realize that she had been chosen as one of 24 semifinalists in the statewide contest.

This year's theme was Homes for Everyone in 2002. The Maryland Association of Realtors will publish the 12 winning drawings as a 2002 calendar. Sarah's colorful marker-and-pencil sketch of children welcoming disabled children to the neighborhood will be the November illustration.

"I drew this picture because I have a neighbor who is handicapped," Sarah said.

Each contest winner received other perks, including a $50 savings bond, a day off from school, a visit with Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and a brief reception.

The trip to Annapolis to receive the award was a success. Sarah went with her father, Dr. Russell DeLuca, and her maternal grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Zin Uoo Park. Sarah's sister, Gena, who attends Lime Kiln Middle School, and her mother could not attend.

Townsend impressed Sarah. "We got to take our picture with her," Sarah said. "And we got to go up to her office. We saw all these pictures of President Kennedy and Sen. Robert Kennedy. Then I got to sit in the chair that Robert Kennedy got when he was attorney general."

The best part for Sarah might well have occurred the next day. On Wednesday, she and her classmates took a long-anticipated field trip to Annapolis. Her friends were pointing out all the places she had been to the day before - but no one else got to see the inside of the lieutenant governor's office. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime for that," Sarah said.

Library happenings

It's hard to believe that the Savage branch of the Howard County Library is 10 years old. It has been a wonderful community resource, providing not only books and information, but a friendly, well-informed staff and countless programs. Who can forget the visits from sheep, rabbits, and pot-bellied pigs, signed story times, science programs and the craft sessions presented by library volunteers?

Visit tomorrow afternoon to celebrate this milestone. Children are invited to dress as their favorite literary characters. Join staff members for cake, balloons and entertainment. The party will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the library.

While there, check next month's program offerings. A program about Navajo weaving, "Woven With Love," for ages 7 and older is planned at 4:30 p.m. May 3. Registration opens Thursday. Information: 410-880-5978.

Arts center classes

The Montpelier Cultural Arts Center has released its summer schedule of classes. As usual, the center will present an eclectic assortment. For adults, evening programs in photography, drawing and bronze casting, among others, are offered.

For children and teen-agers, weeklong classes in pottery, drawing, painting and comic book-making are offered. The costs range from $45 to $90, and some courses require an additional fee for materials. Registration is open through June 15, with most classes beginning in early July.

Information: 301-953-1993.

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