Elkridge Landing teacher pushes pupils to run in 5K


September 17, 2001|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CAROL JONES has been a physical education teacher at Elkridge Landing Middle School since the school opened seven years ago. That year, she decided to encourage her pupils to participate in the annual BWI Airport 5K, which benefits the Kennedy Krieger Institute Down Syndrome Clinic.

The first year, about 35 kids and their families participated, Jones recalled. Last year, thanks in large part to her enthusiasm for the event, the number was close to 200. This year the number may be even higher.

"When our school opened, I was informed that this was something that took place nearby," said Jones, 53. "I thought it was a nice awareness for the kids to be involved in a community service project."

The race is always the last Sunday in September. This year, it is scheduled for Sept. 30 at 8:45 a.m. Participants have a choice of a 5K race or 3K family walk. (Five kilometers is about three miles.)

The registration fees serve as the fund-raiser. Registration is $5 for children up to age 13; $10 for senior citizens; and $10 for adults to walk the 3K and $15 for adults to run the 5K.

Fitness activities seem to run in the Jones family. This year, Jones will run the race while pushing her grandson, 1-year-old Gavin Palmer, in a running stroller.

Also expected to participate are Jones' son and daughter-in-law Jamie and Tracey Jones; their 3- and 5-year-old sons, Sam and Ben; her daughter and son-in-law Sarah and Rob Palmer; and her daughter Katie Jones. Both Sarah and Rob are physical education teachers in Carroll County, Jones said.

"Being a physical education teacher, I promote this as a family fitness event," Jones said.

Family participation is fairly common at the event, Jones said, adding that she knows several large families who return year after year.

"It's really been adopted by the community," Jones said of the annual event.

In addition to passionate input from Jones, the event gets a lot of support because it's so much fun, with music, raffles and entertainment.

Another incentive to participate: The school with the most runners and walkers wins 100 tickets to ride the MARC train to Washington, Jones said.

Elkridge Landing Middle School has won the tickets the past four years. Schoolchildren typically use them for a field trip to Washington, Jones said.

Those pupils with disabilities participate in physical education classes with nondisabled pupils, Jones said, so the children "are very aware of other students and their needs."

"This is a community service event," she said. "Everything we are donating is going to a very worthy cause."

Meet the teachers

Ellicott Mills Middle School will hold a back-to-school night for parents Thursday. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the school's cafeteria. Parents can see their children's classrooms and meet their teachers.

Donna Johnson, the school's Gifted and Talented Program resource teacher, will hold an orientation session for the school's enrichment program at 6:15 p.m.

Information: Lisa Solomon, 410-461-7362, or Ellicott Mills Middle School, 410-313-2839.

Bingo, lunch and cake

The Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 8097 is sponsoring a bingo game, lunch and bake sale from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The lunch will begin at 1 p.m. and bingo will be played from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Information: 410-799-5868.

Event postponed

Last week's tragedy has hit home in a small way for some pupils at Hollifield Station Elementary School. The Station Singers, a group of schoolchildren in grades three through five, was scheduled to sing the national anthem and Canadian national anthem at the Sept. 13 Orioles game.

That game, of course, was canceled. The group hopes it will be able to reschedule in the spring, music teacher Edie Yeager said.

Outstanding seniors

Thirty-one seniors at Howard High School have been recognized as Maryland Distinguished Scholars by the Maryland Higher Education State Scholarship Administration. The honored students: Kyle Burkhalter, David Craig, Rebecca Lambert, Reza Salajegheh, Alex Wolniak, Robyn Foreman, Timothy Lay, Christopher Porter, Whitney Amato, Vicki Bartoszewicz, Charlene Bement, Stephanie Brosk, Laura Bumiller, Julie Cha, Eric Chen, Mia Chiarella, Christina Curry, Adam Dennis, Elizabeth Femiano, Bernard Gabin, John Higgins, Won Kim, Patrick McKinney, Steven Miller, Sabrina Oursler, Allison Peltier, Melissa Perrelli, Kerrie Smith, Dylan Springman, Pavrita Srinath and Veronica Szabo.

Five seniors were recognized for their outstanding talents in the arts: Laura Weisman, Alex Wolniak, Brian Casey, Mia Chiarella and Christopher Porter. Seniors David Craig and Rebecca Lambert were recognized as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists based on their PSAT scores.

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