Schoolchildren, seniors craft a kinship


December 03, 2001|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE ELKRIDGE library branch and Elkridge Senior Center share a building, so interaction between the generations is frequent. In addition, Jeanne Slater, director of the senior center, works to bring young people and seniors together.

"The seniors love kids," she said. "We like to do intergenerational programs."

Last week, the intergenerational program was a holiday craft project.

Working together, 24 Elkridge Elementary fifth-graders and about a dozen seniors plaited red, green and white yarn into braids that were decorated with cinnamon sticks and scented with cinnamon oil.

The idea was to pick an inexpensive and satisfying project that seniors - especially those with arthritic hands - and children could do together, said Amy Colman, the school's gifted and talented program teacher.

The day before the project, schoolchildren practiced making the craft and discussed the importance of treating seniors with respect.

The day of the event, before the youths arrived, seniors sat around large tables chatting with friends. Then the fifth-graders arrived. Brown bags with the necessary materials were passed around, and kids were matched with seniors.

In short order, the room was alive with activity.

At one table, Katie Grein and Patrick Rooney, both 10, worked with Bernard Brute, 71.

Brute said he worked for the county school board for 28 years, and he enjoys being around young people.

"I think it was nice," Patrick said, as he examined the finished product.

"It's exciting to be with my elders, to be able to help them with something," Katie said.

The event began after BJ's Wholesale Club "adopted" the school for the year, Colman said. As part of the arrangement, the school is required to perform community service. BJ's supplied the materials for the project.

"The kids need to see this," Colman said. "Part of being a teacher is doing more than reading, writing and arithmetic. It's teaching kids to value people, especially our senior citizens."

Fund-raiser tally

Ellicott City Volunteer Firemen's Association raised more than $30,000 for the families of New York City firefighters and police officers who lost their lives helping others in the terrorist attacks Sept. 11.

The money raised by Ellicott City firefighters helped raise the total collected by county police and fire departments to more than $146,000. Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department raised more than $13,000.

A "Fill the Boot" campaign collected money at intersections and shopping centers. People also took donations to fire stations.

"Those who devote their lives to public safety can be counted on in times of need," County Executive James N. Robey said in a news release. "And let's not forget the community at large for the part they played. I don't believe it comes as any surprise just how ready and willing our residents are to help those who have suffered a tragedy."

Mount Hebron's stars

Several students at Mount Hebron High School have been honored recently.

Lauren Grove and Allie McAdams received certificates from the American Red Cross in appreciation for raising more than $1,550 for disaster relief.

Kathleen Fritz and Catherine Kunkel are National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Commended students in the National Merit Scholarship program are Sumair Akhtar, Wendy Beveridge, Kathryn Cherry, Sean Clancy, Gretchen Dellinger, Andrew Draney, Aimee Fukuchi, Elizabeth Hempel, William Keay, Lauren Kostelnik, Michelle Kreh, Venkatesan Natarajan, Russell Osborn, Kevin Rodkey, Rebecca Schwartz and Christopher Sturgill.

Kathryn Cherry was one of four Howard County students to reach the semifinalist stage of the 2002 Achievement Scholarship Competition.

She and Aimee Fukuchi also were recipients of writing awards from the National Council of Teachers of English.

Winter concert

A free winter choral concert will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Mount Hebron High School.

Several groups, including a men's choir, a women's choir and a barbershop choir, will perform.

The music will include patriotic selections, holiday songs, madrigals and solo performances.

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