Ilchester Elementary pupils show their true colors

NEIGHBORS

October 15, 2001|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THESE DAYS, it's hard to hear "God Bless America," either the song or the sentiment, without choking up. But that didn't stop Ilchester Elementary School pupils from pulling out all the emotional stops with a half-hour celebration of patriotism Wednesday.

Hundreds of children crowded the school's parking lot on a warm fall morning to sing patriotic songs, watch a drill team in action and wave American flags.

Many wore T-shirts emblazoned with flags that read "Ilchester Elementary" and "United We Stand."

A giant American flag was hung on the side of the school, and one waved from a nearby flagpole. Flag pins decorated shirts, and flag earrings dangled from earlobes.

Cherryl White, the school counselor who organized the event, explained that the school stages "spirit" events throughout the year.

"I thought it would be nice to do a celebration to patriotism," she said. "We really want the students to feel that they're doing something important to support our country at this time."

Pupils participated by singing songs and waving flags, but they made more pragmatic contributions as well.

The pupils raised more than $650 for the Red Cross, forgoing snacks and treats so they could help victims of the terrorist attacks. They also donated their favorite books to schools in New York's lower Manhattan, on the theory that children in those schools could use some smiles.

Sales of the patriotic T-shirts raised more money, for a total of $1,500 to be given to the Red Cross. The money was presented to Neil Dorsey of Howard County Red Cross during the event.

"The outpouring of support and prayers and donations has just been overwhelming," Dorsey told the gathering of pupils, teachers, staff and parents.

It took about 2 1/2 weeks to organize the event, White said. Other events during Spirit Week included Pajama Day on Monday, Sports Day on Tuesday, Dress Up Day on Thursday, and Miss-Matched Day on Friday.

"It's been a real team effort," said Principal Jacqueline Conarton.

Doughnuts for dads

More than 570 fathers and their children munched on doughnuts Oct. 8 as part of "Donuts for Dad" at Deep Run Elementary School.

Krispy Kreme of Maryland Inc. donated 57 dozen doughnuts, said Meg Ducey, publicity coordinator for the school's PTA.

In past years, doughnuts had been purchased by the PTA, but this year's donation "freed those funds up for other PTA activities to benefit our children," she said.

The event is an opportunity for fathers to see the school and to share breakfast with their children.

Senior transportation

Elkridge Aging Alliance is providing minibus service for older adults in Elkridge beginning tomorrow. HorizonLiner will provide curb-to-curb service for $2 a ride.

The bus is wheelchair-accessible and the driver, Lawrence McDaniel, is trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid.

The bus was provided by Urban Rural Transportation Alliance. Reservations: 410- 997-8227.

Elkridge Aging Alliance is a two-year project committed to improving the safety and health of older residents while helping them remain in their communities.

Ann Havill, who recently was hired by Howard County Office on Aging to coordinate outreach efforts, will recruit volunteers and coordinate with local organizations.

Information: Ann Havill, 410-540-9552.

Halloween events

A barbershop quartet, a puppet show, kettle-popped corn and caramel apples will be featured at Centennial Park from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The event will focus on 19th-century entertainment, with a focus on Tom Sawyer and his fictional adventures.

Children can whitewash a fence, dig for buried treasure and visit an old-fashioned classroom.

The event will include a trick-or-treat trail where children - accompanied by adults - can dress in costumes and be greeted by people in not-very-scary costumes.

Other activities will include a treat-bag workshop, pumpkin-carving workshop and a Tom Sawyer look-alike contest.

The event is sponsored by Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks. Information: 410-313-7275 (410-313-4665 for the hearing-impaired). In case of inclement weather: 410-313-4451 the day of the festival.

Haunted Halloween, sponsored by the Department of Recreation and Parks and Elkridge Adult Athletic Association, will feature attractions for children at Rockburn Branch Park.

Children age 7 and older can enjoy a spooky house, a hayride and goblins from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 26 and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 27. The cost is $7.

Hayrides for children ages 2 to 7 will be offered from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and Oct. 28. The cost is $3.

Information: 410-313-4625. In case of inclement weather: 410- 313-4452.

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