Would-be wizards test their mettle with Harry Potter trivia game

NEIGHBORS

November 22, 2001|By Lorraine Gingerich | Lorraine Gingerich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

AT THE Glenwood branch library this week, children got to test their knowledge of potions, fantasy creatures and geographic features from the popular Harry Potter book series in "Hogwarts Survival Skills."

During the 45-minute class Tuesday evening, children ages 6 to 12 played a Harry Potter trivia game and made a craft. Children were divided into groups of three and took turns answering questions as they moved pieces around a huge floor game.

The winners received a large "wizard" sticker, while the others received Harry Potter bookmarks. After the games, the young people chose to make a dragon, a phoenix or an eagle from construction paper and paper towel rolls.

Melissa Fasteau, 12, of Glenwood attended the class with friend Samantha Grebow, also 12. The Glenwood Middle School seventh-graders felt they didn't know many of the trivia questions.

"It's been since fourth or fifth grade that I read the book," Melissa said.

Her mother, Barbara, said Melissa loves the Harry Potter stories and thought the class looked like fun.

Melissa's favorite character is not Harry Potter, but Hermione Granger, Harry's intelligent female buddy. Samantha prefers Ron Weasley, Harry's loyal sidekick.

Luagh Malone, 9, of Ellicott City enjoyed the program and did well in the trivia game. He has read the first three books three times each, and has read the fourth book twice. "I'm a fanatic," he said.

The program was developed by Derek Buker, young-adult specialist at the Miller branch library, along with April Curnow, children's programmer. Buker and Curnow are Harry Potter fans. This is the second time they have presented the class - the first was at Miller. It will be presented again at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at the central library.

Buker said he has read each book three or four times. "The kids test your knowledge of the books, and you don't want to get caught," he said.

Buker and Curnow went all out for the program, dressing in authentic-looking wizard clothing. They brought plenty of props - brooms, posters of the four houses of Hogwarts, potions and substitute books. Buker said that because the Harry Potter books usually are checked out, he brought other fantasy genre books for the children to peruse.

Hollifield Station Elementary School fifth-grader Lorilei Alley of Harmons has read the books several times and enjoyed the class. "I kind of wish it was real," she said of the characters and events. Her mother, Nancy, said that Lorilei chose to forgo her normal social activities to attend the Harry Potter movie Friday.

Ellicott City resident Dalys Keith and her son, Stephen, 6, were some of the first to see the film Friday, having purchased tickets three days in advance. They attended the library session Tuesday to test their Harry Potter knowledge. "We have really enjoyed reading the books together," Keith said.

To register for the program at central library: 410-313-7880.

Teens and stress

Teen-agers have a lot to worry about these days. They may have anxiety about getting a date for the prom and earning good grades, but they also have to agonize about whether they will make the team or get into the right college. The Sept. 11 attacks also have affected children and created added stress.

In response, River Hill High School will present a program of education and awareness about how these stresses affect teen-agers.

Psychiatrists and health professionals from the Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will provide information about their Young Peoples Outreach program and educate students, faculty and parents about depressive illnesses.

According to the association, about 5 percent of youths ages 14 to 18 suffer clinical depression or manic-depressive illness. The symptoms may show up as academic failure, truancy, eating disorders and substance abuse, it says.

PTSA Vice President Hollis Weisman said the session also will be helpful for the parents of children who are learning about depression in their health courses. The program will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 in the River Hill High media center.

Cheers for cheerleaders

The fourth Howard County Cheerleading Championship was held Nov. 9 at Wilde Lake High School, where Glenelg High School won the Spirit Award.

Freshman Heather Putnam won the first-place trophy in the junior varsity individual finals. Coached by Paula Foster, the Glenelg varsity brought home a third-place trophy. The JV team also won a third-place trophy, under the direction of Kathy Watson.

Master of music

River Hill High School junior Jay Brimley has been chosen as a member of the American National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Jay, the son of John and Diane Brimley of Columbia, is also the concertmaster of the River Hill High School Orchestra, which is directed by Rosemary Lather. Jay auditioned for the National Youth Philharmonic last month.

Of the 500 students who auditioned, only five Maryland residents were accepted.

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